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Diwali 2021: Science, Significance and Traditional Rituals

The festival of lights is one of the most beloved festivals in India. It is colourful, jazzy and brings a 5-day long celebration. Know about the scientific and astrological significance of this beautiful festival.

Science and Tradition behind Diwali 2021

Lovingly known as the “Festival of Lights”, the essence of the grand North Indian festival Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness. Rooted in Hindu religious traditions, the festival Diwali takes place over a span of 5 days. The festival commencing on Karthika Krishna Trayodasi (Dhanteras) concludes on Karthika Krishna Dwitiya (Bhai Dooj).

In 2021, Hindus will celebrate the main day of Diwali on November 4. This festival usually occurs in autumn, during the Hindu month of Kartik. Specifically, Diwali occurs on the darkest day of the lunar month – the day of new moon.

Diwali is not just a religious but also a cultural event in India. Hindus, along with people from other religion celebrate and rejoice in this festival.

Diwali, which is a more colloquial word for the original festival name “Deepawali” means ‘row of lights’. Deepawali signifies the celebration of improvement of wealth and prosperity.

Few recommendations for designing your prayer room before the festival of Diwali commences. Read here.

Astrological Significance of Diwali:

Astrologically, all festivals occur with a certain powerful alignment of the Earth with respect to the Sun, Moon, and other planets. It is basically a play of cosmic and divine energy which lends base to the astrological importance of each festival.

Each planet has a unique force and sphere of influence associated with it. Astrologers call it Muhurtas. These energy influences can be both positive or negative and can last between 4/5 of a second to several days. The time and date of auspicious events are determined by astrologers by calculating Muhurtas.

During Diwali, the influence of these planetary forces spans for 5 days. It is pivoted around a singular celestial event – Kartika Amavasya or Lunar New moon in the month of Kartik. The planetary forces traverse across two tithis before Amavasya (Trayodashi and Chaturdashi) and two tithis after Amavasya (Prathama and Dwitiya). These 5-day tithis together makes the great Muhurta for Diwali.

Now that you have learnt about the astrological significance of new moon, find out the significance of full moon as well.

Cultural Significance and Legends:

Diwali celebrates the win of good over evil. It chooses light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The sparking festival of Diwali resonates closely with cultural and religious contexts. Few important ones are as follows:

  • Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday: Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and fortune. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi was born during Samudra Manthan, during which the milky ocean was churned to find the nectar of immortality. Lakshmi symbolizes wealth and prosperity. That is why on Diwali, Lakshmi Puja is conducted. New ventures and new accounting years are also initiated on this day by worshipping Goddess Lakshmi.
  • Victory of Lord Rama: According to Ramayana, Diwali marks the return of a victorious Lord Rama from Lanka. After being on exile for 14 years and subsequently defeating and killing the evil king Ravana, Diwali marks the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. The people in Ayodhya welcomed Lord Rama and his entourage by lighting diyas and adorning the streets with candles and firecrackers. Therefore, this made Diwali popular as the festival of lights.
  • Return of the Pandavas: The legend of Mahabharata reveals the after 12 years of banishment and refuge, the Pandava brothers along with Draupadi returns home to Hastinapur. Since it was a dark new moon day, the villagers celebrated their return by lighting earthen lamps and diyas.
  • Goddess Kali: On Diwali, we worship Goddess Kali. We celebrate integrity, destroying of evil and eradication of negativity. During the celestial fights between the devas and the asuras, Ma Durga was summoned. Mythology says that Goddess Kali was born from the forehead of Goddess Durga. In her demolishing spree, Goddess Kali lost control and started killing everyone who crossed her path. In order to save the innocent, Lord Shiva placed himself in front the Goddess. Since then, this day celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

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What is Astrologically Unique about 2021 Diwali?

The powerful alignment and conjunction of the Sun and the moon starts on the day of Diwali in the Libra zodiac sign and Vishakha Nakshatra.

During this conjunction, the Sun is debilitated. It means it loses all its power and energy and thus Amavasya takes place. However, on Diwali, a magical phenomenon called the Neechabhanga Raja Yoga takes place. At this time, the entire weakness of the sun is annulled, and it becomes powerful and in high spirits due to the movement of energy at a faster rate. This energy is suitable for wealth and prosperity, which means it is a great time for the start of any new venture or an initiative.

Diwali entails shopping and selecting different outfits for different events. Check out which outfits you should don on this special occasion.

Rituals and Celebrations of Diwali:

Wealth being the most important aspect of Diwali, brings us closer to our individual goals through blessed means. Use Shakti, which means energy, to achieve and manifest your goals. There are 3 forms of energies – Iccha, Kriya, and Gnana Shakti.

  • Iccha Shakti – Desire to achieve
  • Kriya Shakti – Ability to execute
  • Gnana Shakti – Clear understanding of the goals and challenges that you will face.

The festival of Diwali lasts for 5 days. The traditions and rituals for each day is mentioned below.

  • Day 1: Dhanteras

This day marks the official beginnings of the glittering and glamourous festival of Diwali. Mythology reveals on this day Lord Dhanwantari came out from Samudra Manthan, along with Ayurveda – the science of medicine for the benefit of mankind. It is auspicious to buy gold or silver or even any metal (ornaments or utensils) on this day. At sunset, people light diyas along with prasad to pray to Yam Raj (Lord of death) for the protection of mankind. Devotees make this offering near a Tulsi or basil tree.

Dhanteras Puja on Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Dhanteras Puja Muhurta = 06:17 PM to 08:11 PM

If you want to invest money on this day, find out the stock market analysis for the remaining 2021.

  • Day 2: Choti Diwali

Narak Chaturdashi is another name for Choti Diwali. Folklore says on this day, Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasur, which denotes freeing the world from fear. One should massage their body with oil to relieve it of any tiredness, in preparation for Diwali the next day. Traditionally on this day, one should not go out and rather rest at home.

Choti Diwali on Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Choti Diwali Muhurat = 11:39 PM to 12:31 AM, Nov 04

  • Day 3: Diwali

This is the main day for festivities of Diwali. Devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi along with Lord Ganesha for fortune and wealth. People light diyas in their homes in all corners. Devotees also make offerings on this day during the Puja. The Hindus clean their houses and join their families for festivities. Children mostly burn firecrackers as a part of the celebration. People visit temples to seek blessings. There is exchange of sweets and dry fruits as prasad.

Lakshmi Puja on Thursday, November 4, 2021

Lakshmi Puja Muhurta = 06:09 PM to 08:04 PM

Which zodiac moon signs are likely to progress financially the most during the remaining part of 2021. Find it here.

  • Day 4: Govardhan Puja

In northern India, we celebrate Govardhan puja as a tribute to Lord Krishna. This is beacuse many centuries ago Lord Krishna urged the people to perform this puja to honour his win over Lord Indra. Annakut Puja is the name of this ritual. This puja is basically an offering to Lord Krishna. Devotees prepare sweets as an offering and then distribute them among friends and families.

Govardhan Puja on Friday, November 5, 2021

Govardhan Puja Pratahkala Muhurat = 06:36 AM to 08:47 AM

  • Day 5: Bhai Dooj

According to mythology, on this day Yamraj, the lord of death visited his sister Yamuna. He gave his sister a boon (Vardhan), which will liberate whosoever visits her on this day of all their sins. They will be able to achieve final emancipation or Moksha. Thus, the ritual of the brothers visiting their sister takes precedence from here. Sisters prepare sweets for their brothers and blesses them for a long, healthy and prosperous lives. This day marks the end of the festival of Diwali.

Bhai Dooj on Saturday, November 6, 2021

Bhai Dooj Aparahna Muhurat = 01:10 PM to 03:21 PM

Check out gifts that you can give to your brother and sister on this auspicious day.