Life should be a continual celebration, a festival of lights all year round. Only then can you grow up, can you blossom – Osho
What is the common word for a festival in most Indian languages? Whenever you think of festivals, immediately the word ‘Utsav‘ comes to your mind. Have you ever wondered what it means?
In Sanskrit, ‘Ut’ means to remove and ‘sava’ means grief or sorrow. So in the Indian tradition, a festival is an event to let go of misery & despair. It is a calling to celebrate life in full spirit & enthusiasm. Diwali, the festival of lights, perfectly embodies the true essence of an Utsav.
Diwali is one of the popular festivals celebrated not only in India but across the world. According to the Hindu calendar, the Diwali 2022 dates in India are October 22-26 (5 days).
Meaning & Significance of Diwali
Diwali (or Deepavali) means a row or arrangement of lights. As per the Vedic calendar, the festival comes in the auspicious month of Karthika (Oct-Nov). The lights symbolize the removal of inner darkness or ignorance that hinders spiritual growth and breeds suffering.
People of other faiths celebrate Diwali in full vigor too. It is sacred for Jains as they believe Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana (liberation) on this day. Sikhs celebrate Diwali in memory of Guru Hargobind Singh, who was released from Mughal captivity on this day. A sect of Buddhists celebrates it by beautifully decorating their monasteries.
Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil. People in north India believe Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya on this day after killing Ravana. People in the south celebrate Naraka Chaturdashi to rejoice in the killing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna. So Diwali celebrates the indomitable spirit of human life to rise against all odds.
Diwali is a Grand Affair Celebrated over 5 Days in India
Few festivals can match the scale & fervor of Diwali celebrations. It’s not just merry-making but a period associated with deep meaning & significance.
The 2022 Diwali date & days are October 22, 23, 24, 25 & 26.
Day 1: Dhanteras:
The first day is in worshiping Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Dhanvantri, the god of health. It is believed that Lakshmi & Dhanvantri emerged during the process of Samudra Manthan (the churning of the Divine Ocean) on this day. Dhanvantri had a pot of Amrit (nectar of immortality) in one hand and the holy Ayurveda (knowledge of life) text in the other.
People clean their homes and pray for prosperity & good health by invoking their presiding deities. Lamps are kept burning throughout the night. The day is considered very auspicious for making new purchases, especially valuable articles.
Day 2: Naraka Chaturdashi:
It is also known as Choti Diwali. As the name itself suggests, the day is celebrated to commemorate the slaying of the demon Naraka by Krishna. People rise early in the morning, take an oil bath, wear new clothes and visit a temple. Sweet dishes are prepared specially for the day, and everybody enjoys a sumptuous lunch. In the evening, traditional oil lamps are lit, and firecrackers burst.
Day 3: Lakshmi Puja:
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. People pray to Lakshmi to solicit material prosperity for their families. The day is very special for businessmen who hold a grand Puja in their shops & offices and offer gifts to their employees & customers. Delicious feasts are prepared at home for everyone to relish.
Day 4: Govardhan Puja & Balipadyami:
The day is celebrated to honor the lifting of Govardhan hill by Lord Krishna. Legend has it that Lord Indra, the king of heaven, decided to punish the people of Vrindavan as he felt that they no longer worshiped him. Thunders & rainstorms were unleashed upon the ordinary folk of Vrindavan. Krishna immediately came to their rescue by lifting the Govardhan hill and providing them protection from Indra’s fury. People still worship the sacred mountain to offer their gratitude to Krishna.
People in the southern part of India celebrate Balipadyami in honor of Emperor Bali, who was pushed to the netherworld by Vamana (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). It is widely believed that Bali comes to earth every year on this day to meet his dear subjects.
Day 5: Bhai Dooj:
Bhai Dooj is celebrated in northern India to honor the brother-sister relationship and their special bonding. Brothers visit the homes of their married sisters and shower them with gifts. Sisters perform a special ceremony and host a lavish meal with tasty delicacies for their brothers. The day marks the end of gala celebrations.
The 2022 calendar Diwali date is between 2 weekends, giving people almost ten days to pray, shop, feast, travel, and enjoy with their friends & families. People also gamble for fun during Diwali by playing card games at night.
Astrological Significance of Diwali Dates:
All major Hindu festivals, including Diwali, have great astrological significance. It is said that the planetary positions are perfect during a festival period and hence immensely conducive to the spiritual growth of mankind.
According to the Hindu lunar calendar, Diwali marks the onset of the New Year. It falls on Karthik Amavasya (New Moon Day in the month of Karthik). It is said to be the darkest day of the year. The Sun and the Moon are in perfect conjunction (0 degrees) during Diwali. This is considered highly auspicious by Vedic scholars and astrologers.
The 2022 Diwali date is fast approaching. The shopping & preparations start at least a fortnight before the day. The entire country gets lit up!
Festivities & celebrations apart, Diwali is a good time for reflection and contemplation. It is a harbinger of the triumph of virtues over vices, of light dispelling darkness and knowledge killing ignorance. It is not just the outer darkness that needs light but also the inner gloom that resides within man. It is a calling to illuminate the light within. It signals you to conquer negativity in life with a strong positive mindset.
HAPPY DIWALI 2022 in Advance!