Diwali New Year

Diwali New Year


Diwali or Deepawali, is not only festival of lights, but also marks the beginning of the Hindu new year. It is one of the most important Indian national celebrations as it is believed that the Hindu goddess of good luck visits homes that are brightly lit. Children make "deeps" which are small clay lamps to light and bring the good luck goddess to their home so they can receive new clothes and toys. The first day of Diwali is also a New Year of Business. All companies pay off debts and their cars are decorated with flowers and palm leaves to bless the vehicles to run well in the new year.

The customs of wearing new garments and exchanging gifts and greetings have come to be associated with Diwali, probably because of this New Year celebrations. Accordingly most of the traditions of a New Year celebration are all present. The occasion sees the spring-cleaning and white-washing of houses; decorative designs or rangolis are painted on floors and walls to greet the new year.

Fresh flowers, exchanges of gifts, new clothes, meeting with friends and family, and feasting are part of the colorful festival. Each region of India celebrates Diwali in its own way, but the lighting of many small earthenware oil lamps is common throughout the country, setting homes and gardens aglow with twinkling lights. The lamps are symbolic of the victory of the light of goodness and knowledge over the darkness of evil and ignorance. The lighting of the lamps is also a way for people to show thanks for the good things in their lives.

 

Diwali Ganesh Puja

Ganesh Puja


Ganeshji is a must for Diwali pooja as he is to be worshiped in all pujas before any other god or goddess. Traditionally on Diwali night, Ganesh shares the altar with Lakshmi. Shree Ganesh is the god of good beginnings and the fabled remover of obstacles. In the Hindu pantheon, the two are unrelated, Ganesh being the son of Shiva and Parvati. However, when placed side by side, Lakshmi Ganesh hold out promise of a year of fulfillment, free from wants.

During the Ganesh puja, the idol of goddess Lakshmi is placed on the left and Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed god is kept on the right. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity and also personifies beauty, grace, and charm. She is normally depicted seated on a lotus with gold coins. Lord Ganesh has many functions in the Hindu pantheon. He is the Lord of Wisdom and the remover of obstacles.

Hindus believe that he must be kept happy to ensure smooth passage on the road to accomplishments. For this reason, he is worshiped together with Lakshmi during Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Then, Lakshmi is worshiped for wealth and prosperity, while Ganesh is worshiped first to ensure that any obstacles to obtaining wealth and prosperity are removed.

Shri Laxmi-Ganesh Puja takes place on Diwali by placing their idol on a platform, making various offerings of sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume(itr), haldi, kumkum, abeer, gulal, garland of cotton beads, flowers, especially the marigold flowers and leaves of Bel (wood apple tree). Incense stick and dhoop is lit and offering of sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul are made. At the end of pooja, aarti dedicated to Lord Ganesh is sung by the devotees.