Diwali is one of -- if not the most celebrated festivals in the Indian culture. Diwali riddim honors the Hindu Gods by focuses on five areas: health, wealth, knowledge, peace and fame and unites all members of the Hindu community: young and old, rich or poor. Citizens express their faith during diwali riddim by lighting their oil lamps and decorating their houses - all meant to honor and welcome the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi- the Goddess of prosperity and wealth.
Diwali riddim also signifies the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Typical of such a celebration are fireworks displays as simple as bursting firecrackers, and as extravagant as special effects fireworks spectacles. Diwali riddim is celebrated for five days, each day having its own significant rituals and myths and different from the day preceding it.
The diwali festival celebrates the coming of Rama. Without getting too technical, Rama is one of the most adored of the Hindu Gods, and is revered as "a man's man" and a hero in Hindu epic "Ramayana". In most Hindu art, Rama is always holding a bow and arrow indicating his readiness to protect his loved ones and destroy his enemies. The legend states it took 20 days for Rama to return to his kingdom after defeating his arch rival Ravana.
The First day of diwali riddim is called DHANTERAS. This diwali festival falls on the thirteenth day of the month of Ashwin. The word "Dhan" means money, riches or wealth. As such, this diwali date of the five-day Diwali festival has a great significance for the business community of Western India. Typically, houses and factories are decorated. It is the Hindu belief that being rich is not something to be frowned upon or be jealous of. Rather it is a reason for giving thanks to Gods who were so generous.
The SECOND day of dwali riddim is called NARKA-CHATURDASHI . And this dwali date falls on the fourteenth day of the month of Ashwin. The Narakachaturdashi day is dedicated to lights and prayers and hopes of a future full of joy and laughter. As any Hindu will tell you, "it is better to laugh than to cry".
The THIRD day of the festival is the celebration of LAKSHMI-PUJA which is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi. One of the more interesting customs that makes this particular day stand out is its devotion to gambling. Legend has it that the Indian Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband on this festival day and she ruled that whoever gambled on the third day of the diwali festival would prosper throughout the coming year. I sure hope she wasn't playing with loaded dice.
The FOURTH day is PADWA which marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya .
The final and FIFTH the Diwali Festival is known by the name of "BHAYYA-DUJ".
The fifth day is dedicated to loving one another. Not in a physical sense, but in the grander scheme of things. Thus "BHAYYA-DUJ" is a day of sharing, of kindness and forgiveness.
In a day and age when the norm is to suspect one another rather than love and forgive one another, the diwali festival of diwali riddim is a true anomaly. It embraces more than religion. It follows the tenants of brotherhood in every sense of the word. And for this, it comes as no surprise that it is so popular among the Indian population.