India Celebrates Diwali 2011 for Five Days

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Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali 2011. This day is also known as Dhantrayodashi in some parts of India. Dhanteras happens to be the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (Dark Fortnight) in Hindu calendar month of Ashwin, i.e. October or November in Gregorian calendar. Dhanteras marks the official beginning of Diwali, and on this day, business community across India worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth & prosperity. On this day, people purchase precious metals like gold & silver from the jewellery market, and therefore, the day holds special significance for jwellers in India.

Chhoti Diwali/Naraka Chaturdashi
Naraka Chaturdashi or Kali Chaudas is the second day of Diwali festival of lights. On the fourteenth lunar day of dark fortnight in the month of Ashwin, Hindus worship Goddess Kali or Shakti, who is believed to be the incarnation of female power. People also clean their houses and pray the goddess to remove evils and darkness from their life. Goddess Kali is offered oil, flowers and Chandan by her devotees; people offer coconuts, sesame seeds, Brigadoon and rice with ghee and sugar to Lord Hanuman.

Laxmi Puja on Diwali
Laxmi Puja or Diwali Pooja is very important day during the five day festival of Diwali, and on this day, Hindu devotees adulate and worship Goddess Laxmi. On this day, farmers in India end the harvest and offer their gratitude for the going year and ask for a good harvest for the next year. Indian businesses have been traditionally dependent on agriculture and therefore, this festival marks the end of accounts and businessmen balance their business books. Lakshmi symbolizes wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.

Govardhan Puja /New Year
Govardhan Puja is celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra. Lord Krishna encouraged people to adore nature, because mountains bring rains to earth by stopping clouds; this infuriated Lord Indra (God of Rains) and he showered heavy rains, to which, Krishna lifted the mountain Govardhan on his little finger and gave shelter to them. Gujaratis celebrate this day as New Year and wish each other Happy New Year. They welcome guests at home and offer sweets and snacks to them. In Gujarat, it is a beginning of Vikram Samvat.

Bhai Dooj
Hindu calendar has two days that celebrate brother-sister relationship - one is Raksha Bandhan and other is Bhaidooj. Bhaidooj 2011 comes after New Year in the month of Kartik according to Hindu calendar. On Bhaidooj festival, sisters invite their brothers to their home and welcome them with traditional rituals. After the welcome, sisters offer them sweets & foods, and brothers give gifts to their sisters. Those who live outside from India, send Bhaidooj gifts to India via e-commerce websites.

 

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