One of the biggest festivals of Hindus, Deepawali or Diwali in India is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and happiness. This festival is celebrated for five continuous days, with the third day being celebrated as the main Diwali or as 'Festival of Lights'. Fireworks are always associated with this festival. The day is celebrated with people lighting diyas, candles all around their house. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. Diwali gifts are exchanged among all near and dear ones.
The auspicious day of Diwali is decided by the moon position & according to the Hindu calendar, Amavasya or the "no moon day" is considered the perfect day for Diwali. The dark night comes after every fortnight & in the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November), it marks the festive occasion. The Diwali date holds an imperative meaning among the Hindus, since, the day is reckoned with Lord Rama's coronation ceremony as the King of Ayodhya after his return to the kingdom from 14 years of exile along with his wife Sita & brother Laxman after killing the demon, King Ravana. People celebrated this occasion by lighting diyas to drive away the darkness of amavasya.
Diwali Mela or Diwali Fete are extremely popular not just in India but all over the world. These help people to celebrate the popular ‘Festival of Lights’ with gaiety and enthusiasm within their own community. Diwali Mela serves a very important role as the festival of Diwali is celebrated in individual homes. Diwali Melas that are normally celebrated on a weekend a few days after Diwali helps to bring the community together and share the greetings of the festival. For Hindu community outside India, Diwali Mela is a means to bond with cultural roots and acquaint children to the rich Indian culture and heritage.
Aim of Diwali Mela
Diwali Melas are definitely a means to let people celebrate the joyous festival of Diwali in the best of spirits and enhance the feeling of harmony and brotherhood in the society. However, Diwali Melas hold much greater importance for Hindus living outside India. For them, it is the only means to enjoy Diwali and help their children adapt to the tradition of the glorious Indian festival. Indians living outside India also use the occasion to showcase Indian traditions and values in the country of their residence. Besides, Diwali Melas help to unite people of Indian origin together in a foreign country and popularize the Indian belief in unity in diversity. At several places Diwali Mela are organized for a cause and proceeds of the fair are given to charity.
Diwali Mela Celebrations
Diwali Melas have become hugely popular these days and are enjoyed with great enthusiasm in India and in countries where there is a significant Indian diaspora. Cultural programmes including magic and puppet shows are organized by professional artists and children to regale the crowd. Games and other fun-filled activities for children and grownups are usually a part of all Diwali Melas. Besides, stalls of Indian handicrafts and other trinkets are also set up to let people go on a little shopping spree. Diwali Melas outside India are used to showcase the best of Indian culture; Stalls of pottery making, henna paining on palms etc help people enjoy the spirit of India. Eatables of all sorts and the customary fireworks are undoubtedly a part of Diwali Melas. Joyful competitions are also organized to increase public participation.
Attraction of Diwali Mela
Being immensely popular, Diwali Melas in India and around the world are blessed by top Bollywood stars. Scintillating performance and shows by Bollywood stars and noted singers mesmerize people and leave them asking for more.
Diwali Festival Fun
Diwali is a time for fun and revelry. During Diwali, India comes to a standstill except for family life and feasts. Diwali means decorating the house with tiny earthen lamps, wearing crisp new clothes, bursting firecrackers, meeting family and friends and of course enjoying the scrumptious sweets and savories prepared specially for this occasion. Fun, frolic, frenzied buying.
Diwali Festival imparts an unprecedented fun, hope, value, a whole platter of creativity in form of making colorful rangoli patterns, special Diwali recepies, playing cards and making greeting cards. Regardless of its origin and local interpretations, Diwali is a day of fun, festivities and joy for people of all ages, throughout India. Weeks before Diwali, every Hindu family is busy painting and decorating their homes, and shopping for gifts.
On the diwali day, shops are packed with people buying freshly made sweets and fire crackers; mothers are busy preparing special dishes for the family feasts. Late evening is the time for a special Pooja ( worship) at home, and illuminating the exterior of their houses with the rows of oil lamps, candles and colourful lanterns.
Streets, stores and buildings are lit with electric lights and neon signs in such a way that the dark amavasya night and every street echoes with the laughter of children. People dressed in new clothes, visit relatives and friends to exchange greetings and gifts.
Lakshmi Puja on Diwali
The third day of the festival of Diwali is the most important day of Lakshmi-puja and is entirely devoted to the propitiation of Goddess Lakshmi. On this very day sun enters his second course and passes Libra which is represented by the balance or scale. Hence, this design of Libra is believed to have suggested the balancing of account books and their closing. Despite the fact that this day falls on an amavasya day it is regarded as the most auspicious.
The day of Lakshmi-Puja falls on the dark night of Amavasya. The strains of joyous sounds of bells and drums float from the temples as man is invoking Goddess Laxmi in a wondrous holy "pouring-in" of his heart. All of a sudden that impenetrable darkness is pierced by innumerable rays of light for just a moment and the next moment a blaze of light descends down to earth from heaven as golden-footed Deep-Lakshmi alights on earth in all her celestial glory amidst chantings of Vedic hymns.
A sublime light of knowledge dawns upon humanity and this self enlightenment is expressed through the twinkling lamps that illuminate the palaces of thewealthy as well as the lowly abodes of the poor. It is believed that on this day Lakshmi walks through the green fields and loiters through the bye-lanes and showers her blessings on man for plenty and prosperity.
Lakshmi Pooja, or the worship of the goddess of wealth, is the main event on Diwali in North and West India. It is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the cleanest house first. This is also the reason why the broom is worshiped on this day with offerings of haldi and kumkum (turmeric and vermilion). Lamps are lit in the evening to welcome the goddess. They are believed to light up Her path.
Lakshmi Puja consists of a combined puja of five deities: Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta; Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Mahasaraswati (the goddess of books and learning), and Mahakali; Kuber (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.