10 Must Know facts about Diwali
1. Deepavali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.
2. Next day of Diwali is referred as Gujarati Hindu new year. 'Kartak' is the first month in this new year while 'Ekam' refers to the first day.
3. Why do we celebrate Bhai Bij? On this day the sister worships her brother.The brother stands for Krishna who did the noble deed of killing the demon Narkasura.
4. What is Labh Pacham? It is the commencement of new Fiscal Year for Hindu Shop owners and Businessman.
5. In Goa and Konkan on next Day of Diwali people prepare paper-made effigies of Narakasura, filled with grass and firecrackers. They burn these effigies on this day around 4 am.
6. Whome do people offer Vadas on Kali Chaudash? People prepare Vada to Hanumanji and get protection from ghosts & evils spirits. Tantric's goes to the crematorium to get more Black magic powers.
7. What does Diyas (Lamps) signifies? People lit diyas from aaso vad Agyaras (11th day from full/no moon) to Dev Diwali to decorate the house, which protects them from evil spirits as believed.
8. Why Lakshmi Puja is offered? As per spiritual references, on this day "Lakshmi-panchayatan" enters the Universe. Vishnu, Indra, Kubera, Gajendra and Lakshmi are elements of this "panchayatan" (a group of five). They provide positive energy, happiness, wealth, opulence (satisfaction due to wealth) and carries lots of wealth.
9. In Nepal, Diwali is Known as "Tihar" or "Swanti". They also celebrate diwali for five days like Indians but with different traditions.
First Day, crows are given offerings because they are divine messenger.
Second Day, Dogs are given food for their honesty.
Third Day, Laxmi Puja is performed and businessman clear there accounts.
Fourth Day is celebrated as new year.
Fifth Day called as "Bhai Tika", brothers and sisters meet and exchange gifts.
10. Oldest reference to Diwali is a related word, dipalikaya, which occurs in Harivamsha-Purana, written by Acharya Jinasena and composed in the Shaka Samvat era in the year 705.
So can you imagine how old this festival is?
I wish all my readers a Very Happy Diwali and to all Gujarati Readers Prosperous and Happy New Year.
*The list is compiled from Wikipedia.