Diwali 2020 – The Festival of Lights

Diwali is the festival of lights, celebrated across India in unique and colorful ways. Find out all about the history, traditions and significance of Diwali in this blogpost.
Isha Blog Article | Diwali 2020 – The Festival of Lights
 

When is Diwali in 2020?

In 2020, Diwali falls on November 14th which is a new moon day or Amavasya. Because the festival of Diwali is celebrated according to the lunar calendar, the dates are different each year. Find out all about the history, traditions and significance of Diwali in this blogpost.

What is Diwali and why is Diwali Called the Festival of Lights?

Sadhguru: Diwali or Deepavali is the “festival of lights.” One reason why light is so significant in human life is the way our visual apparatus is made. For other creatures, light simply means survival. But for a human being, light is not just about seeing or not seeing. The rising of light in our life signifies a new beginning and, above all, clarity.

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Why is Diwali Celebrated?

Sadhguru: In Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year – 365 festivals in a year. The idea behind this was to make our whole life into a celebration. Today, unfortunately maybe only thirty or forty festivals remain. If you approach everything in a celebratory way, you learn to be non-serious about life but absolutely involved. The idea of Diwali is to bring that aspect of celebration into your life – that is why the fire crackers, to set fire to you a bit!

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How is Diwali Celebrated in India?

In a true testament to unity in diversity, Diwali is celebrated quite differently across India. One thing that remains common is that every town, city and village is lit up with thousands of lamps everywhere. This lighting of lamps symbolizes the victory of light over darkness.

A History of Diwali – The Festival of Lights

In North India, Diwali is seen as a celebration of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after fourteen years in the forest. On this moonless night, people are said to have welcomed him home by lighting thousands of lamps in his honor.

In South India, Diwali is celebrated because on this day, Krishna slew the demon Narakasura.

In western parts of India, Diwali is considered the beginning of a new year and the central theme is worshipping Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

In eastern parts of the country, the day of Diwali is devoted to Kali and is celebrated as Kali Puja.

Diwali Traditions and Customs in India

Diwali always starts with a thorough cleaning and decoration of the home. This is also a time to make traditional rangolis. People visit each other, dress up resplendently, exchange gifts, conduct rituals and pujas and come together to enjoy feasts and burst firecrackers.

The Significance of Diwali

Sadhguru: Historically, Diwali has been called “Naraka Chaturdashi” because Narakasura, a very cruel king, was killed by Krishna on this day. Because of that, this celebration happened in such a big way. Evil need not necessarily come in the form of demons. Desperation, depression and frustration can cause much more damage to one’s life than the demons that you have not seen. Diwali is a reminder to slay all that is negative in our life.

The celebration is auspicious in so many different ways. On this day, it is said that if someone needs money, Lakshmi will come in. If someone wants health, Shakti will come in. If someone wants knowledge, Saraswati will come in. These are dialectical ways of expressing that it will lead to wellbeing.

In Indian culture, a festival was seen as a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. Today, people usually celebrate only around eight or ten festivals annually because we have to go to the office or do something else daily. Unfortunately, festivals nowadays mean you are given a holiday at work, and you wake up only at noon. Then you eat a lot and go for a movie or watch television at home. It was not like that earlier. A festival meant the whole town would gather and there would be a big celebration.

If we do not create this, by the time the next generation comes, they will not know what a festival is. They will just eat, sleep and grow up without concern for another human being. All these aspects were brought into Indian culture just to keep a man active and enthusiastic in so many ways. The idea behind this was to make our whole life into a celebration.

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Diwali Narakasura Story

Sadhguru explains the legend behind Naraka Chaturdashi, when Krishna slew the demon Naraka, and explains how it is still relevant to us today.

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A Diwali Special Song

Light up your Diwali with this special song by Sounds of Isha, released on the occasion of Diwali. Caught between yesterday and tomorrow, this song conveys how instead of merely thinking about life, we should be living life.

Click Here to listen to ‘Kal Kal’

Diwali Recipes

Here are a few delectable recipes to add a traditional flavor to your Diwali:

  1. Diwali Special - Sanjeevini Peanut-Butter Burfi
  2. Diwali Recipe: Apple Grape Halwa
  3. Rasayana and Injinjeera Leghiam Recipes
  4. Dry Fruit Burfi

Editor's Note: In this 13-minute video, Sadhguru explains the significance of Diwali in detail.