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Today – November 13, 2012 – is Diwali – Important Rituals and Pujas on Diwali day

Today – November 13, 2012 – is Diwali – Deepavali – literally means 'an array of lamps. It signifies the victory of good over evil. On a symbolic level, the removal of spiritual darkness and the ushering in of knowledge capable of removing suffering.

There are several stories associated with Diwali. The most important one is the commemoration of the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.

Another story is associated with Goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth). It is believed that the goddess emerged from the ocean on this day during the samudra manthan (churning of ocean) by demons and gods. So for the business people, the new business year begins on diwali.

In South India, it is the day on which Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.

Ganesh, Lakshmi and Kuber Puja are the most important pujas on Diwali day. But apart from this there are numerous other rituals and festivals that are held on the day. Here is a list of pujas and rituals and festivals observed on Diwali day on November 13, 2012:

Abhyanga Snan – Ritual bathing during Diwali
Yama Tarpanam – For dead Ancestors
Naraka Chaturdasi – Deepavali celebrations in South India
Kali Puja – Worship of Goddess Kali in Bengal
Sharda Puja – Dedicated to Goddess Saraswati
Lakshmi Puja – Worship of Goddess Lakshmi
Kamala Mahavidya Jayanti – Worship of Goddess Kamala – Tantric worship of Goddess Lakshmi
Tihar Festival – Diwali in Nepal
Chopda Puja – Muhurat Puja in Gujarat and Rajasthan