Like we all know, Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, and the celebration of this auspicious day cannot be just a single day event. The Indian calendar is always up to the brim with this festival or that. Amongst all of them, Diwali is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the entire nation. However, festivities and rituals begin before the exact Diwali dates and several parts of India have several types of interesting festivals before Diwali.
Narak Chaturdashi / Bhoot Chaturdashi
14, of course, is the favorite number of the ones who take 13 to be unlucky, and Narak or Bhoot Chaturdashi is the day to worshiping the goddess Kali who had killed Narakasura. All the negatives that might linger around are done away with by lighting fourteen earthen lamps or diyas. This day is also known as Choti Diwali in some regions. For Bengalis, this is actually in reverence to the “choddo purush” or fourteen ancestors, seven from each side, seeking their blessings.
Dhanteras – Bringing home wealth and joy
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Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi is one of the days of festivities before Diwali, and it’s on this day when Hindus don’t think twice before spending money on jewelry of gold or silver as it is considered auspicious. Lord Kuber, the treasurer of wealth and Goddess Lakshmi are worshiped on this day, and it is widely believed that buying any “Dhan” or any type of valuable metal, be it a silver coin or even a silver spoon, will bring about wealth and prosperity to the household.
Rangoli – Adding Colours To Lights
This tradition of Indians will never go out of style. Be it the Bengali alpona or the South Indian Kolam, this tradition has been passed on to the generations like a precious legacy. On Diwali, Rangolis are made at the entrance of the household to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into the house and shower the inmates with her infinite blessings. There are innumerable rangoli designs and are made with crushed limestone, coloured chalk or rice powder. This adds to the traditional Diwali celebrations.
The Cracker Testing Ritual!
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This is the most important part of Diwali celebrations, both for the kids as well the adults. We take the celebrations up a notch by burning fire crackers in order to celebrate the mirth that Diwali brings along. A day or two before Diwali, all the crackers that are bought are checked for safety, and also if they are good enough last for more than a day for we surely can never get enough of those crackers.
Let’s come together this festival of lights and drive away all the evil forces.