Celebrating Diwali: The Festival of Lights
Deepavali is the Festival of Lights. Diwali comes from the Sanskrit words 'deepa' and 'avail' which literally means "row of lights." It signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. This festival is celebrated by lighting lights everywhere. As it is celebrated on the new moon night, lights and fireworks have a very significant role in this festival. This festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartika which falls sometime during October or November. Some people worship Goddess Kali on the day of Deepavali. Laxmi puja or worship of the Goddess of Wealth is the main event of Diwali in North and West India. Kali puja is the worship of Goddess Kali. Assamese, Bengalis, Odias, Maithils worship Goddess Kali during Diwali. Diwali is celebrated by bursting crackers to mark the return of Lord Rama from exile after 14 years and his victory over Rava. People light up their houses, shops to welcome Goddess Laxmi during Diwali. In this day people illumite and decorate their houses, buildings and roads with pradeeps (diya), tiny bulbs,candles. People offer their prayers for health and wealth. People believe that on this day, Goddess Laxmi enters only those houses which are neat and tidy. In Assam, the festival of Diwali is celebrated by people with enthusiasm and energy. They decorate their houses with rows of diyas. In Bengal and Nepal, people celebrate the second day after new moon as Bhai Phota or Bhai Duj; it is a festival where sisters mark a chandan phota or tika on the forehead of their brothers and wish for their welfare and long life, while brothers promise their sisters to protect them from evils. In Hindu mythology, Yamu, the sister of Yama Raj (God of Death), prays for her brother's welfare and applies phota on his forehead while chanting a mantra in Sanskrit. After phota, it is time for the feast. There are varieties of food items which are being cooked for this special occasion such as luchi, begun bhaja, cholar dal, alur dum, macher kalia, mug dal, murighanto, doi ilish, pineapple chatni, misti doi, rosogoIla and many other delicacies. After that members of the family, along with their friends, have lunch together and enjoy an adda. With this the festival comes to an end.
Ulubari, Guwahati - 781007.