Diwali is finally here! It is a festival every Indian looks forward to throughout the year. Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights that eradicates all darkness and despair of the world. This five-day festival celebrates the victory of good over evil and in particular, honors the return of Lord Ram and his wife, Sita, after 14 years of exile and all the citizens of his empire, lit diyas, thereby celebrating the festival of lights to welcome him. While thinking about celebrating Diwali, all we know about is lots of fireworks, Laxmi Pooja, eating lots of sweets, and just hanging around with friends and family. But as we know that India is culturally rich, People from diverse communities and regions have unique and interesting ways to celebrate Diwali. As Diwali is an occasion for prosperity and family togetherness, here are some of the interesting ways to celebrate Diwali in different parts of India.
West Bengal: Kali Puja and Agambagish Puja
In West Bengal, people celebrate Diwali to welcome the arrival of Maa Kali, the avatar of Lordess Durga. People worship Goddess Kali for three days and celebrate by liting up their houses and bursting crackers. There are also regions in West Bengal, where the Agambagish, the most apotheosized priests or the tantriks, performs the most dangerous and pious custom before Kali Puja to satisfy her. In their practice, they meditate at the mortuaries, sitting in a circular formation surrounded by skulls that are smeared by their blood.
North Indian Regions: Celebrating Diwali as Bali Pratipada
Bali Pratipada is celebrated across the northern Indian region on the third day of Diwali. Bali Pratipada is celebrated to welcome the Demon King Bali, on his one-day return from the “Patal Loka” or the nether world. According to the Hindu Mythology, Lord Vishnu reincarnated as “Vamana,” his fifth avatar, and banished King Bali to the “Patal Loka.” However, after looking at the devotion of Bali towards him, Lord Vishnu granted him a day visit to the world every year. And that is the reason the North Indian region celebrates Bali Pratipada On Diwali because that is the day Bali comes to this world for a day.
Odisha: Kauriya Kathi
Orrisa is one of the most culturally rich state of India, and in Odisha, Diwali is celebrated in a very unique way. They celebrate Diwali as Kauriya Kathi, where people burn jute sticks to invite their ancestors who are said to descend from heaven that day. The citizens believe that their ancestors live in the open sky, and as the sun begins to move towards the tropic of Capricorn, their ancestors descend.
Ayodhya: They celebrate the same way they celebrated the first Diwali
Ayodhya is the place where you will see the massive Diwali celebration every year, and why not? This was the city where Lord Ram used to rule and returned after 14 years of exile with his wife Sita and brother Laxman. Ayodhya celebrates Diwali in the same way that we know through the Purans and the other Mythological books of India. Every year in Ayodhya, people lit up hundreds of thousand numbers if diyas near the banks of the Sarayu River. In fact, Ayodhya holds the record of most numbers of earthen lamps lit at the same time as in 2018, and there were more than 300,000 earthen lamps lit near the banks of Saryu River.
Goa: Gambling and Burning the Demon Narkasur
In Goa, Diwali is celebrated in honor of Lord Krishna, who beat the demon named Narakasura. There are competitions every year in every village to see who can make the biggest and the most scariest looking demon effigy. They are burnt at dawn on Narakasura Chaturdashi, the day before Diwali. As gambling is also prevalent during the Diwali in Goa, the casinos of Goa are always found full on the day.
You may live anywhere in the country and follow whatever ritual, but the thing is that Diwali has always been the festival everyone waits for throughout the year, and with just a few days left for the Diwali, we wish you a –
VERY HAPPY DIWALI!