Monday, 31 October 2016

Significance of Deepawali and post Deepawali celebrations

Bali Pratipada/ Deepawali Padwa / Govardhan Puja-
Ritual- This day celebrates the bond and devotion between a husband and wife. Husbands bestow thoughtful or elaborate gifts on their wives. Newly-wed couples are accorded a feast by the family of the bride in some regions.
Some people worship Lord Krishna. In some parts, the cow is also worshipped on this day. Some people worship King Bali on this day.
This day also marks the beginning of a new year in business communities. The old books of accounts are closed and new books are opened marking the start of a new fiscal year.
Some people gamble on this day and it is a custom to play cards with family and friends.

Story behind the celebration-
This day marks the killing of the demon King Bali by Lord Vishnu in his Vamana (dwarf) Avatar, by crushing him under his feet. But since Bali was a benevolent king, marred only by his arrogance, Lord Vishnu blessed him when king Bali begged for forgiveness and granted a boon that people would remember him on this day.
There’s another story about Lord Shiva losing to Goddess Parvati in a game of dice. Gambling is thus symbolic in some households, signifying the playfulness between spouses. Husbands also shower their wives with gifts as an acceptance of defeat.
The victory of Lord Krishna over Lord Indra and the puja offered by the people to the mountain Govardhan is celebrated as Govardhan puja.

Significance- The pardoning of Bali signifies that it is never too late to make a new beginning and that the Lord always pardons those who ask to be forgiven.
The ritual also signifies that the bond between couples should also include playfulness, apart from love and devotion.

Bhai Dooj / Bhau-beej / Yamadwiteya-

Bhai Dooj is the last day of Diwali.
Ritual- Sisters give gifts to their brothers and pray for their health and happiness. They also invite their brothers to a sumptuous meal including their favorite dishes. Women who do not have brothers, worship the moon god instead.

Story behind the celebration-
A popular legend has it that the god of Death Yama met his sister Yamuna (the river) on dwiteya or the second day after Deepawali.  There is another story about Lord Krishna, where he visited his sister Subhadra after slaying Narakasura and his sister prayed for his well being by applying a tilak on his forehead and treated him to a special dinner.

Significance- The day celebrates the undying love between a brother and sister. The ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister as well the sister’s blessings for her brother.

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