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Yamadeep – Story of Yamadeepdaan and Lighting of Lamps on First day of Diwali

Yamadeep, also known as Yamdeep or Yamadeepdaan, is the first day of Diwali celebrations in North India and Gujarat. Diyas (lamps) are lit all night and these lamps are dedicated to Yama or Yamraj, the Hindu god of death. Yamadeep 2024 date is October 29. The popular story of Yam Deep is associated with a young girl outwitting Yama to save her husband.

Legend has it that a 16-year-old son of King Hima was destined to die on the fourth day of his marriage due to a snake bite. A girl agreed to marry the unlucky prince knowing his ill fate.

The young bride was confident of her spirituality and decided to save the prince.

On the fourth night, after their marriage, she refused to let him sleep.
She collected all her jewellery, ornaments, and also the gold and silver coins in the palace and placed them in a heap at the entrance of door. Then she lit innumerable Diyas (lamps) all over the palace.

To keep her husband awake, she narrated tales and sang songs.

At the stroke of midnight, Yama, the God of Death, reached the palace in the guise of a snake to kill the prince. But Yamraj’s eyes were blinded by the dazzle of the Diyas. This prevented him from entering the room of the prince

When the attempts to enter the room failed, Yama hid near the ornaments and coins, thinking that the prince might come there to look at the valuables.

But the clever young bride did not allow the prince to venture out. Instead she said interesting stories and songs. The prince was glued to the stories and did not move from the place. Yama also forgot about his mission listening to the songs and stories. Soon the sun appeared and Yama returned disappointed.

This incident is celebrated as Yamadeepdaan. The tradition of burning lamps through the night on the day is dedicated to Yama.

In some regions, lamps lit are dedicated to dead ancestors and floated down a river or pond.

The day is popularly observed as Dhanteras.