Diwali celebrations last up to 5 days. To welcome the Goddess Lakshami along with Lord Ganesha, Hindus clean their houses and decorate them with lights and flowers.
Children along with all family members wear new clothes. They buy sweets to serve their guests. Fireworks are set off in the evening that brings lots of enjoyment among children. Special shopping bonanza is organized by many shops that encourage people to purchase new clothes, gold, kitchen appliances and many more. This is a festival of gifts which typically includes sweets, dry fruits and any seasonal special food items. People like to buy gold coins on the day which has picture of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. Government offices, schools, colleges, banks and post offices are closed because Diwali is a gazetted holiday in India. Diwali is celebrated by not only Hindus but also Sikhs, Jains and Newer Buddhists. It is all about victory of good over evil.
Diwali 2017 Dates (October 16, 2017 to October 21, 2017)
It is a 5-day festival so the rituals are started from the first day of the auspicious occasion.
Day 1 Dhanteras - October 17, 2017 (Tuesday)
The ritual of the day is to buy something new. Shopping of Gold or Silver items is considered. As per the legend, on this day the churning of cosmic ocean brought Goddess Lakshmi. This is the birthday of Mata Lakshmi. So, people like to buy gold and other items on the day.
Day 2 Narak Chaturdasi - October 18, 2017 (Wednesday)
The second day is Choti Diwali. The day is celebrated early in the morning. People of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa celebrate the day with full of enjoyment. They draw beautiful Rangoli.
Day 3 Lakshmi Puja - October 19, 2017 (Thursday)
This is the day of Diwali. Most of the houses are decorated and cleaned properly. People bring the idol of Mata Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha to perform pooja rituals. The puja is mostly organized by the help of a pandit who enchants mantra. The evening is the time of fireworks and meeting with friends and family members.
Day 4 Padwa - October 20, 2017 (Friday)
The day after Diwali is celebrated as Padwa which is based on love and devotion between spouses. Husbands give a thoughtful gift to their wives. On this day, Goverdhan puja is organized to honour Lord Krishna.
Day 5 Bhai Duj - October 21, 2017 (Saturday)
The last day is Bhai Dooj which is called Bhai Tika in Nepal. Girls perform a puja ritual for the safety of their brothers.
History of Diwali
Diwali is an ancient festival, celebrating since time unknown. According to the Hindus calendar, the festival falls in Kartika month. Top Sanskrit texts like Skanda Purana and Padma Purana describe about this great Hindu festival. As per Skanda Purana, Diya represents as Sun which is to give energy to life. Hindus in some regions of India indicate Diwali with the legend of Yama and Nachiketa. The legend of Nachiketa is all about true wealth versus transient wealth and right versus wrong. One of the most famous legends is related to Lord Rama, Mata Sita and brother Lakshman. The residents of Ayodhya decorated their houses and the city with Diya to welcome Lord Rama after his 14 years of exile. Since then the festival of light is celebrating all across India, Nepal and many parts of the world where Hindus reside.