5 Significant Days of Diwali

5 days of diwali ati vancouver

5 Days – Diwali Festival 2023: Diwali or Deepawali popularly known as ‘the festival of lights’ will be celebrated this year on Sunday, November 12, 2023. It is a five-day celebration that starts with Dhanteras and ends with Bhai Dooj.

You can experience the excitement of Diwali every where even if you live in a country like Canada or the USA. The social media is flooded with posters of Diwali Parties, Diwali gatherings, Diwali festivities at temples and gurudwaras, Diwali deals/ sales in Indian as well as Canadian /American grocery and stores.

We know that Diwali is not only important for Hindus but also holds significant place in Sikh and Jain religions too. In short for anyone connected to India, Diwali is one of the most important and celebrated festivals of India. As much as we love celebrating Diwali with families and friends, knowing the significance of FIVE MAJOR DAYS of Diwali becomes as important as the celebrations.

Here is the list of 5 important days of Diwali Festival in chronological order:

Day 1. Dhanteras: Dhanteras falls on the 13th day of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha ) of Kartik Month. It’s the day that marks the beginning of Diwali celebration. It’s that day when dhan ( wealth) is worshiped and the most important aspect of this day is, that on this day Lord Dhanvantari , the Hindu God of medicine and Ayurveda is worshipped. Isn’t it amazing that we start our celebrations by remembering the god of Ayurveda? The message here is that Health is the most important wealth that has priority over all other forms of wealth or dhan ! On this day there’s also a custom of buying gold or silver coins and worshipping them before storing them. From this day people start lighting Diyas (lamps) and preparing sweets and other delicacies associated with Diwali. This year Dhanteras will fall on Friday, November 10, 2023.

Day 2. Chhoti Diwali – Narak Chaturdashi/ Kali Chaturdashi: This day falls on the 14th Day of the dark fortnight of Kartik Month. This day has a variety of significance attached to it. On this auspicious day Krishna Bhagwan killed a demon called as Narakasur, hence this day marks the victory of good over evil. In some parts of India this day is also celebrated as Yama Deepam. A lamp is lighted specially to please Yama, the God of Death so as to avoid any untimely and accidental deaths in the family. In West Bengal and other eastern states of India, Goddess Kaali is worshiped in the wee hours of the night to please her to ward off any evils and evil shadows. In Gujarat and in many parts of Maharashtra it’s customary to prepare fried items like fritters ( pakoras) or besan cheelas on the evening of Narak Chaturdashi. This year Chhoti Diwali will fall on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Day 3. DIWALI: The most auspicious day of Deepawali, falls on the New Moon Day of Kartik Month. This is the day as per Ramayana when Lord Ram returned to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating Ravana and hence ending his long exile of 14 years. It’s on this day that people welcomed their favourite prince Shree Ram by lighting lamps and by decorating their homes. This day is extremely significant for worshipping Lord Ganesha, the god that eliminates all your obstacles( Dukhharta) and is creator of happiness ( Sukhkarta) and Goddess Mahalaxmi, the goddess of wealth, Goddess Maha Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge and Learning and Lord Kubera the God of Treasure, because what’s wealth if you can’t treasure it for your old age and life and for your next generation. Hence Diwali also teaches us the importance of saving our wealth and turning it into treasure. On this auspicious day people greet each other, do Pooja, exchange gifts and sweets. Special offerings of sweet, fruits, flowers is made to Goddess Mahalaxmi. This year Diwali will fall on Sunday, Novem12,2023

Day 4. GOVARDHAN PUJA/ PADWA: This day has its significance in one of the most interesting stories of Krishna that shows his strength and love for his people. On this day Krishna lifted the whole mountain of GOVARDHAN Parvat to save his villagers from heavy downpour of rainfall created by Indra out of anger. Krishna lifted GOVARDHAN mountain on his pinky finger and thus protected his villagers and ended the custom of Indra Puja. Gujaratis celebrate this day as Padwa, the first day of the fiscal year for their businesses. On this auspicious day they wish each other ‘Saal Mubarak!’ It’s customary to wear new clothes on this day, start the day by visiting temples and seeking blessings from elders of the family.

Day 5. BHAI DOOJ: This is the last day of Diwali Celebration, Bhai Dooj or Bhai Beej. On this day sisters wish and pray for long and healthy life of their brothers. It’s customary for brothers and sisters to visit each other and have lunch together as a sign of unbreakable bond of siblings.

All the days of Diwali symbolize nothing but light! It’s a prayer, a wish and a hope that : may there be a light in the hearts of people that uplifts them from the darkness of poverty, ignorance, ill health, hatred, despair, jealousy, fear, and all other evils and may that light take them towards prosperity, health, virtue, knowledge, love and peace.

Wishing a Joyous and Bright Diwali to the Vancouver Indian Community & beyond!
Shubh Deepawali!!!

Related Articles:

Diwali Celebrations in Metro Vancouver

Diwali Celebrations in Tri-Cities


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Sonal Joshi Nagawkar

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