Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated throughout
but there is a difference in origin, myth and the way in which it is celebrated. In 2011, Diwali is celebrated on the same day in all parts of India - October 26, 2011. India
The major difference in the festival
The word 'Diwali' is most popularly used in North India and South India it is mostly used as 'Deepavali.' The meaning of both the word is the same. The Deepavali celebration is a four-day festival in
South India and commences on Aswayuja Bahula Chaturdasi. The first day of the festival is known as Naraka Chaturdasi and it commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna over demon Naraka. This day is celebrated as Deepvali in South India and it usually falls on a day before the Diwali in North India.
North India commemorates the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after his exile.
North India, the Diwali celebration begins two days before the actual Diwali day with the Dhanteras.
The day after Dhanteras is celebrated as Choti Diwali. Usually, the actual Deepavali in
South India takes place on this day.
On the Diwali day, Lakshmi puja is held in
North India. In South India too Lakshmi puja is held on the same day. The myth is the same – Goddess Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagara ( ), when devas and asuras where churning for ‘amrit’. Ocean of Milk
The day after Diwali in
North India is the Govardhan Puja. This day in South India is celebrated as Bali Padyami and it is believed that King Mahabali returns to earth on this day to visit his subjects.
The next day is Bhai Dhooj in
North India and in South India it is the Yama Dvitiya. On this day sisters invite brothers to their home. This ritual is same in North and South but with a different name and myth.