Diwali is one of the most awaited festivals of India, especially for the North Indians. Various facts and tales are associated with the festival that no one knows. It is believed that Lord Ram had come back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile with his wife Sita and younger brother Laxman on this day, after defeating Ravana. Thus, this day also signals the victory of good over evil. Diwali is celebrated with great pomp and splendor across the nation.
While it is believed that Diwali is significant only because of the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya, there are numerous other facts which are unknown to many! Thus, we present to you some unknown facts about Diwali, which are interesting and greatly surprising:
1. It is believed that on this day, not only did Lord Ram come back to Ayodhya from exile, but the Pandavas too, completed their 12 years of exile and came back to Hastinapur on this day. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu came back to Vaikuntha to Goddess Lakshmi, and worship her to attain benefits of her good mood and be blessed mentally, physically and financially. Other than Goddess Lakshmi, people also worship Lord Ganesh for removal of obstacles, Goddess Saraswati for knowledge and Kubera for wealth and prosperity.
2. Diwali is incomplete without Rangolis, which are a significant feature in every household during this festival. But the reason behind its importance is not only about beautifying the house- it is believed that drawing a rangoli at the doorstep drives out negativity from the house.
3. The name ‘Diwali’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali’, which means ‘row of lights’- ‘deepa’ meaning light and ‘vali’ meaning a series or row.
4. Playing cards on this day seems auspicious. This is because it is believed that, playing cards on Diwali brings money and good fortune!
5. We are technically wrong if we say Diwali is the festival of India. This is because Diwali is also celebrated with grandeur in various other countries beside India, including Nepal, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Mauritius declaring public holiday.
6. It is believed that Lord Mahavira, the last Jain Tirthankar of this era attained ‘Moksh’ or enlightenment on this day of Diwali, at Pavapuri. Thus, Diwali is of great significance for the Jains too.
7. Diwali in Malaysia is often called ‘Hari Diwali’. They celebrate Diwali as symbol of victory of goodness over evil.
8. According to the Sikhs, the founding stone of the Golden Temple in Amritsar was laid on Diwali, making this day equally important for the Sikhs. This day is referred as Bandhi Chhor Diwas among Sikhs.
9. In West Bengal and Orissa, Goddess Lakshmi is not worshipped. They worship Goddess Kali on this day, and term this day as ‘Kali Puja’ or ‘Kali Chaudas’. They also burst crackers and do lighting and decorations. In North central regions, the Lord Krishna and Mount Govardhan is worshipped. In other regions, the feast of Annakoot is celebrated where 56 o 108 different cuisines are prepared and offered to Lord Krishna.
10. According to the Hindu mythology, Diwali marks the beginning of the new year- especially a new financial year. Thus, this day is considered auspicious for the beginning of new start-ups.