Deepavali 2013 will be on Sunday, November 3, 2013. This festival is known in different names; it is known as Deepavali in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Deepavali is also known as Diwali in countries like Guyana, Fiji, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.
Deepavali this year, just like all annual celebrations of Deepavali is a celebration of lights. Rows of thousands of lights line different homes and public places where the celebration is held. This is usually on the new mood day or Amavasya held in the month of Ashwin of the Hindu calendar.
What happens during Deepavali?
This five-day long celebration starts on Dhanteras of the month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubee which is the second lunar day of Shukla paksha of the Hindu month of Kartik. For people who are not familiar with the Hindu calendar, Deepavali is held during mid-October from mid-November. These are some things to remember when it comes to Deepavali:
- It is one of the most important celebrations for Hindus. It is marked with celebration of families; members perform traditional activities together as they eat, make merry and have family reunions. Family members wear new clothes, eat delicious foods especially sweets and share these with their friends and neighbors.
- A trademark part of the celebration is the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil which remembers the triumph of good over evil. The lamps are for Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess of wealth. It is said that when you light this lamp in your home, the goddess is welcome to enter.
- Aside from lamps, firecrackers are also lit; firecrackers are believed to drive away evil spirits.
- This five-day celebration has different names each day. The first day is Dhanteras which is remembered as the first day of the Indian fiscal business year, the second day is called Naraka Chaturdasi. The third day is Amavasya which is all about worshiping the goddess Lakshmi. The fourth day is Kartika Shudda Padyami and the fifth day is Yama Dvitiya. The last day of the festival is very important to families since this day sisters invite their brothers to celebrate in their homes.
- If the first day of Deepavali is considered the first day of the business fiscal year it is also the end of the harvest season in most Hindu countries. Farmers and their families celebrate for a great harvest and offer thanksgiving prayers for all their luck. They also offer prayers for the following year of bountiful harvest.
Preparing for Deepavali 2013
This year, Deepavali will surely be brighter, happier and more bountiful than the previous year. It may be too soon to prepare but for 2013 Deepavali, Hindus will surely have the following activities:
- The statue of Lakshmi will be carried once again through the streets as people pay homage to her goodness.
- Dipa Lights or the clay lamps with oil will be more spectacular as more and more designs are made.
- Celebration food will be prepared ahead of time. From breakfast till dinner, the house will be overflowing with food as well as decorations that line doorways and outside homes.