Diwali, also known as Deepavali, stands as one of the most significant festivals in the Hindu community, holding a sacred place in the hearts of millions across the globe. This festival of lights symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and joy over despair, with its roots deeply intertwined with Indian culture. In this article, we delve into the essence of Diwali, its historical and cultural significance, the date for Diwali 2023, the auspicious timing for Lakshmi Puja, and insights on celebrating this grand festival.
Diwali Date in 2023
Diwali is traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of Kartik month, which corresponds to Amavasya or the new moon. In the year 2023, Diwali will be observed on November 12th, which falls on a Sunday. Diwali is marked as a Gazetted Holiday nationwide. As per the Hindu calendar, Diwali is celebrated 20 days after the Dussehra festival in 2023.
History and Significance of Diwali
While the exact origins of Diwali remain unrecorded, one common thread running through its various legends is the triumph of good over evil. Different regions of India celebrate Diwali for different reasons. In the northern part, it commemorates Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana. Since their return coincided with a new moon night (Amavasya), people illuminate earthen lamps on Diwali night.
In South India, Diwali is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna vanquished the demon Narakasura. Additionally, it is believed that Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi tied the knot on this auspicious day. Some alternate narratives suggest that Goddess Lakshmi was born on the new moon day of Kartik.
5-Day Diwali Celebrations in India 2023
Diwali in India is a grand, five-day celebration encompassing a range of customs and traditions. Here’s a detailed overview of the 5 days of Diwali, including the dates, Shubh Muhurat timing, and more:
Diwali 2023 Date and Muhurat Timings
|Dhanteras||Friday||10 November 2023||06:02 PM to 08:00 PM|
|Chhoti Diwali||Saturday||11 November 2023||11:39 PM to 12:32 AM|
|Diwali||Sunday||12 November 2023||05:40 PM to 07:36 PM|
|Govardhan Puja||Monday||13 November 2023||06:18 AM to 08:36 AM|
|Bhai Dooj||Tuesday||14 November 2023||01:17 PM to 03:30 PM|
1. Diwali Day 1: Dhanteras (November 10th, 2023 – Trayodashi)
Dhanteras is a joyous festival marking the celebration of wealth, prosperity, and the auspicious initiation of Diwali. People engage in thorough cleaning, purchase new clothes, and acquire gold and silver, believing these actions to be auspicious.
2. Diwali Day 2: Choti Diwali (November 11th, 2023 – Chaturdashi)
Choti Diwali sets the stage for the grand Diwali festival the following day. People adorn their homes, create vibrant rangoli designs, and illuminate oil lamps.
3. Diwali Day 3: Diwali (November 12th, 2023 – Amavasya)
On the main day of Diwali, people don new attire and gather with their families for prayers and puja. The most auspicious time for worship, or Puja Mahurat, is from 05:40 pm to 07:36 pm. The day includes exchanging gifts, lighting diyas and fireworks, savoring special cuisines and sweets.
4. Diwali Day 4: Govardhan Puja and Padwa (November 13th, 2023 – Pratipada)
Govardhan Puja celebrates the divine intervention of Lord Krishna. Devotees craft replicas of Govardhan Hill using food items like rice and sweets. This day also emphasizes environmental conservation and sustainable practices. Padwa celebrates the bond between husband and wife. Husbands purchase gifts for their wives, and people initiate new business accounts.
5. Diwali Day 5: Bhai Dooj (November 14th, 2023 – Dwitiya)
Bhai Duj is a special day celebrating the cherished bond between brothers and sisters. It’s a time for expressing love, gratitude, and blessings to strengthen the sibling relationship.
How to Perform Diwali Puja in 2023
Lakshmi Puja is a central ritual during Diwali. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create the perfect ambiance for Lakshmi Puja:
1. House Cleaning: Since Goddess Laxmi is invited into homes during the puja, ensure a pristine environment. Clean your house, including walls and floors, and purify it with Gangajal (water from the Ganges River). Decorate the house with banana and mango leaves, and marigold flowers.
2. Prepare the Puja Altar: Find a raised platform and drape it with a red cloth. Place a handful of rice in the center.
3. Set Up the Kalash: Position a bronze or silver kalash in the center of the rice. Fill it three-quarters full with water, add a marigold flower, a pinch of rice, a coin, and a betel nut. Place five mango leaves at the kalash’s mouth and draw a lotus flower in turmeric on a small plate.
4. Display Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi Figures: Position picture frames and idols at the center of the table. Place the idol in the southwest direction of the kalash, add a small plate of rice in front of Goddess Laxmi, draw a lotus flower with turmeric on the rice, and include a few coins in front of the Goddess.
5. Seek Career Success: Bring items related to your career, such as pens, laptops, books, or tools, and place them beside Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi to offer your success to the deities.
6. Illuminate the Darkness: After the above steps, apply a tilak or turmeric mark on the idols. Light an oil lamp or diya with five wicks and place it on the altar.
7. Chant the Mantra: Assemble your family at the altar, sit in front of the platform, and apply a tilak to the kalash. Chant: “Ya Sa Padmasanastha Vipul-Kati-Tati Padma-Patrayatakshi, Gambhirartav-Nabhih Stana-Bhara-Namita Shubhra-Vasttariya. Ya Lakshmirdivya-Roopairmani-Gana-Khachitaih Svapita Hema-Kumbhaih, Sa Nityam Padma-Hasta Mam Vasatu Grihe Sarva-Maangalya-Yukta.”
8. Offerings to the Goddess: After reciting the prayer, offer rice grains and flowers to the Goddess.
9. Cleanse the Lakshmi Idol: Place the Lakshmi idol on a thali, bathe it with Panchamrita (a mixture of ghee, jaggery, honey, milk, etc.), cleanse it with water, and keep it with the kalash.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Diwali 2023
1. What is Diwali, and why is it celebrated?
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a prominent Hindu festival celebrated with great enthusiasm. It signifies the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and joy over despair. Diwali holds historical significance in various regions of India, with common themes of the victory of good over evil. In the north, it commemorates Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, while in the south, it celebrates Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakasura. It is also associated with the wedding of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, and some believe that Goddess Lakshmi was born on this day.
2. When is Diwali in 2023?
Diwali falls on the 15th day of the Kartik month, which is the day of Amavasya or the new moon. In 2023, Diwali will be celebrated on November 12th, a Sunday. Diwali is recognized as a Gazetted Holiday throughout India and is observed 20 days after Dussehra in 2023.
3. How is Diwali celebrated in India?
Diwali is celebrated over five days with each day holding its own significance:
- Dhanteras (November 10th, 2023): The first day marks the celebration of wealth, prosperity, and the auspicious start of Diwali. People clean their homes, buy new clothes, and purchase gold and silver items.
- Choti Diwali (November 11th, 2023): The second day sets the stage for the grand Diwali festival. Homes are decorated, rangoli designs are created, and oil lamps are lit.
- Diwali (November 12th, 2023): The main day involves dressing in new clothes, gathering with family for prayers and puja. It includes the exchange of gifts, lighting diyas and fireworks, and enjoying special cuisines and sweets.
- Govardhan Puja and Padwa (November 13th, 2023): Govardhan Puja celebrates Lord Krishna’s divine intervention, emphasizing environmental conservation. Padwa is a celebration of the bond between husband and wife.
- Bhai Dooj (November 14th, 2023): The final day celebrates the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters, fostering love and strengthening the sibling relationship.
4. How can one perform Diwali Puja in 2023?
Lakshmi Puja is a central ritual during Diwali. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Clean your home, purify it with Gangajal or Ganges water, and decorate it with banana and mango leaves and marigold flowers.
- Set up a puja altar with a red cloth and place a kalash filled with water, coins, marigold, and betel nut. Add mango leaves and draw a lotus flower in turmeric.
- Display idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. Include items related to your career for offering your success to the deities.
- Apply a tilak or turmeric mark on the idols, light an oil lamp with five wicks, and chant a Diwali mantra.
- Offer rice grains and flowers to the Goddess, bathe the Lakshmi idol with Panchamrita (a mixture of ghee, jaggery, honey, milk, etc.), and cleanse it with water.
5. What are the symbols of Diwali?
Several symbols are associated with Diwali:
- Diyas: Lit to symbolize the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and light over darkness.
- Rangoli: Colorful designs created on the floor with flower petals, rice, and colored powders to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.
- Fireworks: Traditionally used to ward off negative energy and attract positive vibes, creating a festive atmosphere.
- Lakshmi: Goddess of abundance, prosperity, wealth, spiritual enlightenment, and purity.
- Ganesha: God of wisdom, beginnings, strength, intelligence, and overcoming challenges.
- Toran: A decorative element hung at the entrance to invite good fortune and prosperity.
6. How is Diwali celebrated in India and among Hindus worldwide?
Diwali is celebrated with fervor and devotion. Homes are adorned, idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped, sweets and gifts are exchanged, and fireworks are set off. It is a time of renewal, where new clothes, jewelry, and household items are purchased to mark the occasion.