Diwali Festival Celebrations In Bihar - Diwali 2013 India: Diwali Festival, Diwali Celebrations India, Deepavali History

Diwali Festival Celebrations In Bihar

10/01/2008 04:38:00 PM

Diwali is celebrated in Bihar with as much pomp and splendor, as in the other states of India. The festivities go on for five days starting with Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi. In Bihar this day is dedDiwali Festival Celebrations In Biharicated to Dhanvanthri the physician of the gods. Legend has it that he emerged with the 'Amrita' or nectar of immortality during the 'Samudra Manthan'. It falls on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Karthik month of the Hindu calendar. Dhan means wealth and Dhanteras is essentially a day dedicated to worship of Goddess Laxmi. It holds more significance for the business community.

During Dhanteras houses and business setups are decorated and entrances are made colorful with rangoli. In Bihar 'Diwali Rangolis' always have footprints made or rice or vermilion powder symbolizing Goddess Laxmi's entry into the house. It is also considered auspicious to buy utensils on this auspicious occasion. Dhanteras gifts like gold and silver are purchased. Families who own cattle clean and decorate them and offer special prayers as they are considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi.

The second day of the five day celebration is known as Choti Diwali. This is similar to the Diwali festival and is celebrated on a smaller scale. Fewer lights and crackers are lit on this day. Exotic rangoli patterns are seen at the entrance with the traditional footprint design facing towards the entrance.

The third day is dedicated to Laxmi Puja. This is the grandest occasion when Goddess Laxmi is revered. Diyas are lit and the whole house is decorated. Rangoli is applied at the entrance, door decorations are also a major part of the festivities. Torans or exquisitely designed door hangings are important decorative items. Ornate diyas or diwali lamps form an integral part of the Diwali illumination. People wear new clothes, perform puja and sing Laxmi bhajans. The gods are offered kheel, batashe and khilone and other freshly prepared sweets. After the puja, sweets are distributed as prasad. Members of the family, colleagues and friends exchange the much awaited Diwali gifts and Diwali sweets.

People of rural Bihar or the 'adivasis' worship Kali during Diwali. Consuming unripe coconut and beetle on this day is considered auspicious. In a place known as 'Chota Nagpur' the men folk walk around the village carrying baskets filled with paddy and grass. A week after Diwali the festival of 'Chhath' is celebrated. On this day people live on the banks of the river Ganga and perform rituals for sun God.

The fourth day is celebrated as the Govardhan Puja. Though it is celebrated in other states of India it is special to the people of Bihar. Devotees of Lord Krishna observe this day wiDiwali Diyasth much reverence. It commemorates Lord Krishna's great feat of lifting the Govardhan mountain to provide shelter to people of Mathura during the rainstorm. He is believed to have protected people from the anguish of Lord Indra. Since then this day is celebrated to thank Lord Krishna.
The fifth and the last day is celebrated as 'Bhai Dooj' which is symbolic of the brother sister bond. The vermillion tilak which is applied on the brother's forehead is considered to be very auspicious.

The festival of lights may have the same intensity of significance across India, but each state has something unique about the celebrations. In Bihar it is the Laxmi Puja procedures, Bhaidooj and the Diwali sweets which are specific to the region. People across India revere the Gods and Goddesses, but the way in which they do so, makes Diwali a region specific celebration thereby adding to its authenticity.

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