Diwali is the most popular festival associated with Hindu religion. Diwali 2010 date is November 5. Diwali literally means ‘an array of lamps’ and symbolizes the removal of spiritual darkness and the ushering in of knowledge capable of realizing Brahman (That) – the Supreme Being present in all living and non-living. In 2010 the Diwali dates are – Dhanteras on November 3, Diwali on November 5, Lakshmi Puja on November 5 and Bhai Dhooj on November 7.
Diwali is celebrated by all Hindu communities but the reasons and legends differ from place to place and from community to community. The most important legend associated with Diwali is the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. It is believed that people lit lamps on the day to welcome Lord Rama and Mata Sita.
Lakshmi Puja during Diwali is observed as it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean on this day during the ‘samudra manthan’ (churning of ocean) by demons and gods as mentioned in the Puranas. So for the business people, the new business year begins on Diwali.
South India, Diwali is the day in which Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.
Gujarat, the day after Diwali is observed as Annakut – New Year’s Day (In 2010, Annakut is on November 6 and Gujarati New Year is on November 6).
In Orissa, the lights are lit to show the path to the spirits of ancestors returning to heaven.
Bengal, Diwali is celebrated as Kali Puja. It is believed that Goddess Kali killed the demon Raktavija on this day.
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