Diwali is among the most famous and most widely celebrated festivals across the entire country. As a matter of fact, festivities and celebrations aren’t just confined to the Indian subcontinent. Indians all around the world celebrate the festival with great pomp and excitement.The festival of Diwali is celebrated for about 3 days in most southern parts but festivities span 6 days in many northern parts of the country.
Popularly known as the festival of lights, people take to various rituals and celebrations to mark the most awaited Hindu festival. So let us go ahead and understand why Diwali is celebrated for six days and what the significance of each day is. Here is a brief account on the significance of Diwali and the significance of celebrating six days of Diwali.
The First Day- On the first day of Diwali, the cow is worshiped. Legend has it that King Prithu, son of the despondent King Vena, in order to compensate for the misrule of his father, invoked God’s blessing on the earth which is represented by the cow. A great famine which swept the land during King Vena’s evil rule was brought to an end by King Prithu who milked the cow and consequently bestowed prosperity on the land.
Second Day-The second day of Diwali is actually the first day in most parts of North India. This day is known as Dhanteras and happens on the 13th day of the second half of the lunar month. This day is seen as immensely auspicious to buy gold and other forms of material wealth. The day marks the birthday of Dhanavanthri, the physician of the Gods. This day is also seen as an auspicious day to invoke God’s blessings for good health of oneself and one’s family.
Third Day- The third day of Diwali, known as Naraka Chaturdashi, marks the defeat of demon Narakasura. The day marks the victory of good over evil. It is a custom to decorate the home with rangoli in order to stave off the effects of evil forces.
The Fourth Day- The fourth day of Diwali is the main day of Diwali during which Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped. Homes are lit up and Goddess Lakshmi is invited home. The welcoming of Goddess Lakshmi signifies the arrival of general wealth and prosperity.
The Fifth Day- The fifth day of Diwali, also known as Govardhan Puja, is celebrated to mark Lord Krishna’s endeavour in lifting the Govardhan hill to save his kinsmen from floods and rain. In the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the fifth day is referred to as Bali Padyami, the day Vishnu defeated the demon king Bali. Marathis call this day Nava Divas or new day.
The Sixth Day- The sixth day is known as Bhaiduj, the day that commemorates the love between brothers and sisters. Bengalis call this day Bhai Phota and Gujaratis call this day Bhai Bij. Legend has that it was on this day that the God of death, Yama, visited his sister Yami or the river Yamuna. On this day, brothers and sisters share a meal just as Yami hosted a luncheon feast for her brother Yama.