Deepavali arrived from the word “deep” and “avali” means a row or line of diyas. Deepavali or Diwali which is one of the brightest and significant festivals amongst all the Hindu festivals. The enthusiasm and the preparation going on since last many days, finally in the form of lights illuminating and dazzling everywhere marks the day of Deepawali. The crackers lights, sweets, diyas and family gatherings aptly sum up the joy and happiness of the people all around.
With the lights illuminating everywhere signifies victory of light over darkness i.e. good over evil and eradicates all the negative influences from existence.
Deepavali coincides with the dark moon night “Amavasya” of the Kartik month. The traditions and rituals vary from one region to other.
Legends behind Diwali Festival
Associated with Ramayana
Lord Rama achieved victory over the evil demon Ravana during his 14 years of exile. When he returned back after 14 years to Ayodhya along with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshman, people of Ayodhya celebrated this day by lighting up diyas with ghee (clarified butter) all over. People decorated their houses, lit thousands of diyas, decorated flowers for the welcome of Shri Ram. This legacy continues till date and is celebrated as Diwali.
Return of the Pandavas
According to the great epic ‘Mahabharata’, it was ‘Kartik Amavasya’ when the Pandavas came back after their 13 years of Vanvas. The people who were waiting eagerly for the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.
Samudra Manthan - Marriage of Vishnu with Lakshmi
Hindu Mythology tells about the churning of ocean (Samudra Manthan) by Asuras (demons) and Devas (Gods) for the want of Amrit to become immortal. During the churning, many divine things arrived. On the day of Amavasya of Kartik month, Devi Lakshmi arrived and Lord Vishnu married her on that night. Lots of diyas were illuminated at the time of marriage to mark the holy occasion.
According to some belief, it was said that Maa Kali while killing the demons lost her control and start killing everyone who was coming on her way.
Lord Shiva than intervened and stopped her. Thereafter this day is also celebrated as Kali Puja.