Diwali is one of the most widely celebrated festivals across India. Diwali is also known as “The Festival of Lights”. Diwali festivities in India last for five days. This year, the celebrations will begin with – Dhanteras (25th October, 2019), followed by Chhoti Diwali (26th October 2019), Diwali (27th October 2019), Govardhan Puja (28th October 2019) and conclude with Bhai Dooj (29th October 2019).
Dhanteras is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Karthik. Dhanteras is also known as Dhantrayodashi or Dhanvantari Trayodashi. On this occasion, devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber. People also worship Lord Dhanvantari, the God of health, Ayurveda and medicine. According to legends, during the Samudra Manthan (churning of ocean) episode between devas and asuras, Lord Dhanvantari emerged from the ocean with a vessel full of ‘Amrit’ on the day of Dhanteras.
People clean their houses and paint them before Dhanteras. On Dhanteras, people buy some form of precious metals such as – gold, silver, copper, as a sign of good luck. ‘Dhan’ in Hindi refers to ‘wealth’. It is believed that the purchases made on this day bring in prosperity and wealth in the household. People also purchase new utensils to welcome Goddess Lakshmi in their homes. Some of them also purchase kitchen utensils and electronics on this auspicious day. While buying gold, silver, brass utensils and jewellery are all considered auspicious, buying plastic and glass is believed to bring bad luck. Tools such as – sharp knives, scissors or any sharp objects should be avoided on this day. It is also believed that buying oil or ghee should be avoided on Dhanteras. While there are no special foods for Dhanteras, many people refrain from eating non-vegetarian food.
Date, PujaTime, Muhurat of Dhanteras (Source: Drikpanchang.com)
Dhanteras Puja Day – Friday, 25th October, 2019
Dhanteras Puja Muhurat – 07:08 PM to 08:15 PM
Duration – 01 Hour 07 Minutes
Yama Deepam – Saturday, 26th October, 2019
Pradosh Kaal – 05:42 PM to 08:15 PM
Vrishabha Kaal – 06:50 PM to 08:45 PM
Trayodashi Tithi Begins – 07:08 PM on 25th October, 2019
Trayodashi Tithi Ends – 03:46 PM on 26th October, 2019
Chhoti Diwali is also celebrated as Kali Chaudas or Bhut Chaturdashi in many parts of India. This year it will fall on 26th October, 2019. Chhoti Diwali is the second day of the five-day festival, which is one of the biggest for Hindus around the world. On this day, people conduct parties and get-togethers with friends and family members as it is the eve of Diwali. Diwali celebrations begin in the real sense on the day of Chhoti Diwali.
According to Hindu calendar, Diwali falls in the month of Karthik. This year Diwali will be celebrated across India on 27th October, 2019. People clean their houses to usher in the blessings of Goddess Laxmi. They also decorate their houses with lights and clay lamps. Diwali celebrations are also accompanied with a lot of good food. Diwali gifts also make the festival worth looking forward to. People of Ayodhya lit multiple clay lamps or diyas to celebrate the homecoming of Lord Rama, Sita, and Laxman. After fourteen years of exile and a long battle with Ravana, Lord Rama headed northwards towards his home in Ayodhya and arrived on the day of Diwali. According to scriptures, Lord Rama with his army comprising mostly of monkeys, defeated Ravana and relieved Sita from hostage.
In the eastern part of the country, people worship Goddess Kali. On the day of Kali Pujo, people consume a delicious meal of 14 types of green leafy vegetables. They stay up all night and pay respect to the Goddess. Kaju katli or kaju barfi is a staple sweet consumed during Diwali. Soan Papdi along with Gulab Jamun, Coconut Ladoo, and Rasgulla is also consumed on Diwali. To balance the overload of sugar, people also distribute lot of dry fruits and nuts such as – pistachio, walnuts and cashews. People also consume – Bhujia, gathiya, kachori, namak pare, chakli, Samosa and cutlets as Diwali snacks. Many Hindus opt for a vegetarian meal on the day of Diwali.
PujaTime, Muhurat for Diwali (Source: Drikpanchang.com)
Deepavali Lagna Puja – Sunday, 27th October, 2019
Kumbha Lagna Muhurat (afternoon) – 02:14 PM to 03:42 PM
Duration – 01 Hour 27 Minutes
Vrishabha Lagna Muhurat (evening) – 06:42 PM to 08:38 PM
Duration – 01 Hour 56 Minutes
Simha Lagna Muhurat (midnight) – 01:12 AM to 03:30 AM – 28th October, 2019
Duration – 02 Hours 17 Minutes
Amavasya Tithi Begins – 12:23 PM on 27th October, 2019
Amavasya Tithi Ends – 09:08 AM on 28th October, 2019
Govardhan Puja falls on the fourth day of the festivities. This year it will fall on 28th October, 2019. It is celebrated with immense fervour in Hindu households, especially the followers of Lord Krishna, who is also known as Govardhan Dhari. Govardhan Puja is also referred to as “Annakoot Puja”.
The day of Govardhan Puja is tied with great legend of Lord Krishna and the Govardhan Parvat (mountain). In order to please the God of rains – Lord Indra, people in Vrindavan used to offer grand and lavish meals, to bless them with timely rainfall and good harvest. Little Krishna found this practice too hard for the farmers and persuaded them to stop offering it to the God and instead feed the same to their families. When Lord Indra didn’t find his offerings, he angrily sent down a thunderstorm that went on for days. Out of fear for their lives, the villagers approached Lord Krishna for help who then took them to Govardhan hill. He lifted the entire Govardhan Parvat on his little finger and gathered everyone under it for shelter. He stood there lifting the hill, without moving for seven days, until Lord Indra bowed in front of Lord Krishna and stopped the rain.
Since Lord Krishna didn’t move for seven days, he did not consume a single morsel of food during those days. Since this incident, devotees decided to make up for it with a lavish “Chappan Bhog” (a meal consisting of 56 food items such as – halwa, makhan mishri, jalebi, ladoos, pakoda, khichdi and Peda). Even today many pilgrims visit the Govardhan Parvat and offer food to Lord Krishna on the day of Govardhan Puja or offer 56 food items to him in their homes. People also make a mountain of food to offer Lord Krishna, known as “Annakoot”.
Puja Time and Muhurat for Govardhan Puja (Source: Drikpanchang.com)
Govardhan Puja Sayankala Muhurat – 3:26 PM to 5:40 PM
Pratipada Tithi Begins – 09:08 AM on 28th October, 2019
Pratipada Tithi Ends – 06:13 AM on 29th October, 2019
Bhai Dooj commemorates the bond between brothers and sisters. This year Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on 29th October, 2019. On this day, Sisters apply Vermilion Tilaks on the foreheads of their Brothers and pray for their prosperity. In return, brothers promise the sisters to protect them from every evil force, and give their sisters loads of gifts.
This festival is also known as Bhai Phota in West Bengal, Bhau Beej in Maharashtra and Yama Dwitiya in southern parts of the country. It is celebrated with different rituals and has various stories associated with it. One of the popular stories about the history of Bhai Dooj is that, after Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra after killing the demon Narakasura, she welcomed him affectionately with sweets, flowers and applied tilak on his forehead. This loving gesture touched Krishna so much that he blessed her with many boons.
In Bengal, Bhai Phota is celebrated with sisters applying tilak on the brother’s forehead along with a special mantra that they chant while at it. While in Haryana, along with the ritual of tilak, dry coconut (also known as gola) is tied with kalawa thread along its width and offered at the time of aarti.
Bhai Dooj is mainly celebrated with Sweets. From delectable barfis to ladoos and rasmalai, there are endless options for consuming sweets. Since the rituals are followed with a grand feast to conquer, food plays an integral role in the festivities. People consume mouth watering dishes which include – Biryani, Malai Kofta, Butter Naan, Chhole Bhature, Dahi Bhalla, Kheer or Custard.
Tilak, Muhurat Timings for Bhai Dooj (Source: Drikpanchang.com)
Bhai Dooj Tilak Muhurat: 13:11 PM to 15:25 PM
Duration – 02 Hours 14 Minutes
Dwitiya Tithi Begins: 06:13 AM on 29th October, 2019
Dwitiya Tithi Ends: 03:48 AM on 30th October, 2019