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Diwali 2018 — the Festival of Lights

Diwali is more popularly referred to as Narak Chaturdasi in Goa

Diwali is one of the biggest religious festivals in India. It is celebrated throughout the country over 5 days in October, though the actual dates vary by a few days every year. Goa is mostly Christian, but Diwali is still a big festival here.

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The Victory of Good over Evil

Diwali also called Deepavali or the “festival of lights”, as all the houses is lit up during the celebrations. Diwali marks the victory of good over evil, or the victory of brightness over darkness. It marks the return of Lord Rama to his home in Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana after he defeated the demon king Ravana (the story of the Hindu epic Ramayana).

It is believed that the residents of Ayodhya lit oil lamps along the way to light up the path of Lord Rama as he returned home victorious. In another version, Diwali is celebrated to mark the fall of the evil king Narkasur.

Firecrackers are burst by children and even adults during the days of Diwali. Many also wear new clothes, visit their relatives and friends and share sweets. People visit temples to offer prayers to the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi. In the business community, Diwali is considered the start of the new financial year.

Diwali in Goa is a big religious event. It is celebrated over 5 days in October, with the Naraka Chaturdashi day being the most important.

Diwali in Goa

What is Diwali?

A Hindu religious festival, celebrated throughout India, and also in Goa. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is also called Deepavali (the original Sanskrit word). Diwali or Deepavali is celebrated over 5 days every year.

When is Diwali?

In the month of October. However, the exact dates vary by a few days every year.

How is Diwali celebrated?

Homes, streets, and temples are decorated with lights. Bursting of firecrackers. Stalls come up everywhere in Goa selling these firecrackers.

Children and adults wear new clothes. Food and sweets are distributed. People visit their friends and the homes of relatives, and even neighbors. Prayers are offered for good fortune and wealth. New utensils are purchased as it is a good omen. Colorful patterns (Rangoli) are painted on the floors.

Street parades

There are street parades in Goa with large figures of the demon king Narkasur. These figures are constructed with paper and straw and are often more than 20-25 feet in height. The parades head to open grounds where the figure of Narkasur is lit up. Everyone cheers as the figure goes up in flame. A lot of firecrackers are also burst.

Lanterns

Many assemble on the banks of rivers to set up small lanterns on boats or tiny rafts. They then watch with interest as the craft floats down the stream.

In the business community

Start of the new business year.

For tourism in Goa

The peak tourist season starts just after Diwali. The long Indian summer is gone. There is little rain in October as well. Most tourists will start arriving after Diwali, as November just around the corner.

Diwali decorations and parties in Goa

Many Goans play psychedelic trance music in big stereos. Dance parties are organized at night clubs, especially if Diwali falls over the weekend. There are visiting tourists from Mumbai, Bangalore, and other Indian cities, and a few foreigners too. Hotels are resorts hand sky lamps from the trees.

The 5 Days of Diwali

How Hindus are celebrating Diwali

How Hindu celebrate Diwali

Day 1 – This is the Dhanvantari day, dedicated to the main avatar of Vishnu, an important Hindu God. This is a day of prayers, where people pray for good health and fortune. Food is offered to Lord Vishnu. Incidentally, Lord Rama is believed to be an incarnation of Vishnu.

Day 2 – The Naraka Chaturdashi day, where the victory of Lord Krishna over the Naraka demon is celebrated. Lamps are lit up in Krishna temples across the state. In Goa, this is the most important day of Diwali. In fact, many will celebrate Diwali only on this one day, and go about their everyday life on the other days.

Day 3 – The day of Lakshmi Puja, or when prayers are offered to the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, and also Lord Ganesha. Homes are decorated with lights.

Day 4 – The day of Govardhana Puja. It is celebrated mostly by the North Indians living in Goa, marking how Krishna protected the people from the anger of God Indra. Food is cooked, decorated in the form of a pyramid, and offered to everyone.

Day 5 – The last day of Diwali, a day when people visit their relatives and friends with sweets and other gifts. Prayers are offered for good wealth and fortune. This is a day of doing good and peace.

How Goa Marks Diwali Differently

Across India, Diwali is mostly about the return to home of Lord Rama with his wife and brother. However, in Goa, it is more about the fall of the demon king Narkasur, who was the son of Bhu Devi and Lord Vishnu, a powerful Hindu God.

Narkasur was a king in Goa. He had supernatural powers, but wasn’t good, because he became arrogant and cruel. According to legend, Narkasur would steal away all the assets, relics, wealth, and even the good looking girls. So the people asked Lord Krishna to help them. Lord Krishna defeated Narkasur, killed him, and freed the people. So Diwali is more popularly referred to as Narak Chaturdasi in Goa.

Top 5 Things To Do In Goa During Diwali

  1. Enjoy the firecrackers.
  2. Watch the street parades with the large figure of Narkasur. See how the figure is set on fire and how it slowly goes up in flames.
  3. Diwali is the festival of lights. See the beautiful decorations. Almost every street and every home is decorated with lights.
  4. Visit a Lakshmi temple and offer prayers, or see the devotees.
  5. Visit an Indian home. See the beautiful Rangoli paintings, and learn about Indian customs and food.

Narkasur in Goa

Narkasur in Goa, @lokaso

Diwali in 2018

Diwali in 2018 will start on Tuesday, the 6th of November (6/11/2018) and will continue for 5 days until Saturday, the 10th of November.

Diwali in India

Diwali in India




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