CREDOS: Tihar — III
Diwali, the festival of lights, is the festival of spiritualism of such symbols and virtues. The illumination is only symbolic; just as images are worshipped as symbols of Gods. It is the festival of lighting the most dark night Amaveseya; enlightenment of the darkness.
Diwali is also a time for settling of accounts, of both a business and Karmic nature. It is a time of special worship, house cleaning, exchanging new clothes and utensils, and in particular cleansing the body.
A bath in starlight, before sunrise is accepted as a bath in the holy Ganges, so purifying soul and body and auspicious way to begin the day. Such cleaning and focus on newness are symbolic of the casting off of the last year’s sins and hope for a fresh new year.
In India Deepawali is a four-day festival, which includes Dhanteras, Narak Chaturdashi, Depawali and Bhhaya dooj. Dhan Teyras is the day, earlier, when people buy new utensils. Narak Chaturdashi is known as Chhoti Diwali (minor Diwali) when in every household 5-7 deep (Deeyas) are lit on the door and corners.
Diwali falls on the day of Amavaseya, the next day of which is called Pratipad, when every kind of transaction, receipt or payment and business is postponed. On this day, many people try their luck of gambling.
Bhhaya Dooj or Bhatri Ditya falls on the next day, when brothers visit their sisters out of love and affection. —Hindu Festivals, Fairs and Fasts