Diwali is the Indian Festival of Lights. Also known as Deepavali (which literally means ‘row of lamps’), Diwali is usually celebrated in October-November on the darkest moonless night. The festival starts on the thirteenth day of waning moon and there are 5 days of Diwali. Each day is of special significance.
The first day is called Dhanteras : Dhan means wealth and Teras is the thirteenth day of the Hindu month. This is the birthday of Lord Dhanwantari and is considered a very auspicious day for businesses! On this day, people pray to Lord Dhanwantari for money and success. Dhanteras is also called the day of Yamadeepan.
The second day of Diwali is called Naraka Chaturdashi or ‘Choti Diwali’. According to legend, this is the day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Nakasura. The fireworks that we light during Diwali are supposed to represent the weapons that Lord Krishna used to defeat Nakasura.
The third day of Diwali is the real Diwali. This is the only day in the year when Goddess Laxmi comes down to earth and bestows prosperity and good fortune. We light diyas to invite Goddess Laksmi and drive away darkness. People perform Lakshmi puja and ask for blessings of prosperity. This is also the day that Lord Ram (who is said to be the avatar of Lord Vishnu) returned home after killing the Lankan ruler Ravana. Fireworks also represent the victory of good over evil!
The fourth day of Diwali is Govardhan Puja. Lord Krishna saved Gokul from flooding by using the Govardhan mountain as an umbrella
The last day of Diwali is bhai dooj and is a symbol of love between brothers and sisters. Legend has it that Yamraj the lord of death visited his sister (the river Yamuna) and she put a tilak on his forehead. So on this day, sisters apply a tilak on their brothers forehead and get gifts and blessings in return.
This year Diwali (the third and main day) falls on Sunday November 3rd. For a full list of Indian festivals and holidays check out our blog post Indian festival list 2013
Question aides for parents:
Q1) When is Diwali?
Q2) Why do we light diyas during Diwali?
Q3) How many days of Diwali are there?
Q4) What do the fireworks represent?
Diwali is around the corner and your gifts are a click away! Check out some fun ideas to get you inspired
Funny ‘Indian’ Mugs
These ‘Indian’ mugs come in a series of 3. You know you’re Indian, Always Indian, Still Indian
You know you are Indian if’….’10 kg rice bag’….’you dont use measuring cups when cooking’…’you love bollywood’…’Maybe because everything you eat is savored in tomato, garlic and onion :)’
Amar Chitra Katha – The Complete Collection
Calling all Amar Chitra Katha fans! This gift set is one to be treasured. The entire collection in a beautifully packaged box set
A modern rendition of an Diwali iconic symbol
Sand Art Rangoli Kit
Back in stock – this popular kit is a lovely way of holding onto the Rangoli art form even after the Diwali season! Rangoli creations can be framed
Take $5 off your order of $50 or more by using coupon DWL5 at checkout (valid till Oct 31st 2013).
Ganesha… Ganapati… Siddhivinayaka… Mangalamurti… Elephant God
Did you know that Lord Ganesha is worshiped using 108 names! We got curious and wanted to sort them by their meaning. Some names refer to him as the God of all, powerful and warrior-like yet forgiving, with strong family connections. Of course, there are several names that describe his appearance and other qualities. And there are 22 names for Him as bestower or knowledge and success as well as remover of all obstacles.
Lord Ganesha’s 108 names (by theme):
|Lord of all|
|1||Avaneesh||Lord of the whole World|
|2||Bhupati||Lord of the Gods|
|3||Bhuvanpati||God of the Heaven|
|4||Devadeva||Lord of All Lords|
|5||Sureshwaram||Lord of All Lords|
|6||Ganadhakshya||Lord of All Ganas (Gods)|
|7||Ganapati||Lord of All Ganas (Gods)|
|8||Ganadhyakshina||Leader of All The Celestial Bodies|
|9||Maheshwaram||Lord of The Universe|
|10||Pramoda||Lord of All Abodes|
|11||Vinayaka||Lord of All|
|12||Vishwamukha||Master of The Universe|
|13||Vishwaraja||King of The World|
|Read the rest of this entry »|