The festivals reflect the cultural life of nation. They are days of great rejoicing. Sometimes they have religious importance. Some are seasonal festivals. Diwali is one of the most important festivals of Hindus. It is most rejoicing festival of India. Diwali means rows of lighted lamps. On this day of festival every house of Hindu is illuminated with light.
Diwali is a national festival of India. It is celebrated on ‘Kartika Amavasya’ every year according to Hindu calendar. It is celebrated towards the end of October or the beginning of November according to English calendar. It is celebrated in honor of Shri Ram Chandra’s return to Ayodhya after an exile of fourteen years. It is an important seasonal festival of farmers. They are free from their labour of sowing rabbi crops.
The festival is also noted for renovation of the houses. A few days before the festival, people do necessary repairs to the houses. They clean them and have them whitewashed. They set them in order. Everything in the house is in appropriate order. The houses are decorated with pictures of national and religious leaders. Sweet sellers, toy makers and manufactures of fireworks make special preparation for the festival.
On ‘dhan theras’ the thirteen day of waning moon new utensils are purchased. It is considered auspicious to buy new utensils on this day. So hundred of shops of utensils are brilliantly lighted and decorated for this occasion. Crowds of people gather round these shops to purchase utensils.
The next day is called as ‘chhoti Diwali’ in the northern parts whereas in some other parts it is called ‘Narak Chaturdasi’. Earthen lamps with wick and oil are lit and worshipped and display of fireworks on very small scale is done at the night of this day.
The day is celebrated with great pomp and show. People go the places of worship. They buy sweets of all sorts for their children. They send gifts of sweets to their friends. The dealers in fire-works and crackers have big roaring business on this day. Villagers eat lots of sweets. In fact, the whole day passes in rejoicings. The night is very colourful. The shops and house tops are illuminated with rows of lamps and candles. Electric bulbs add to the beauty of the night. The children are busy with fireworks. The people worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth on this night. They believe that she blessed the people and the year brings them large fortune. The men in some houses gamble.
The festival has many advantages. The first being is the cleaning and whitewashing of houses. The festival encourages potters who made earthen ware lamps and manufactures of fireworks and utensils.
The festival has some disadvantages. The first one is being gambling and second is the pollution and injuries sustained by those who explode firecrackers etc.