Rituals of Diwali
First Day of Diwali
The first day of Diwali is known as ‘Dhanteras‘. People renovate, decorate their houses and workplaces on this day and make traditional ‘Rangoli’ motifs on the entrance, to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. Lamps and candles are lit throughout the night. It is considered auspicious to buy gold and silver on this day. Many people opt for buying new utensils on this day. In Maharashtra, offerings of lightly pounded dry coriander seeds with jaggery are made to the Goddess. Rural people revere their cattle on this day and cows are considered especially auspicious.
Second Day of Diwali
On second day, people take bath before sunrise, anoint themselves with oil and ‘Ubtan’ (scrub made up of gram flour and fragrant powders). Bengalis believe that Goddess Kali killed the demon Raktavija on this day. A general customs followed during the second day of Diwali is to burst crackers. People illuminate their homes with diya, as to welcome the set the mood for celebrations in the following day.
Third Day of Diwali
The third day is the main day of the Diwali festival. Jains have their own religious significance of the day, because they believe that Lord Mahavir attained ‘Nirvana’ (or Eternal Bliss) on the day. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the great saint who gave rise to Hindu Renaissance, also left the mortal world on this day. On this day, people wear new clothes and share gifts and sweets with their friends and relatives. Women prepare delicacies and whole house is illuminated with ‘diyas’ and candles. Fireworks and crackers are the kids’ favorites on this day.
Fourth Day of Diwali
On the 4th day is the ‘Govardhan Puja‘ or ‘Annakoot’. In the temples of Mathura and Nathadwara, the deities are bathed with milk and adorned with precious clothes and ornaments. Then offerings of a large variety of delicacies are made to them.
Fifth Day of Diwali
The 5th day or the last day of this festival is called ‘Bhai Duj‘. On this day, sisters invite their brothers and their family to their homes and treat them with delicacies. In turn, brothers offer them with gifts and sweets.