Diwali is the most celebrated and enjoyed festival by all sections of people in India. The celebrations begin even before a month of Diwali day and the celebrations is not restricted to particular age group unlike other Indian festivals. There is no single reason behind Diwali celebration as Hindu mythology has various clues and history of Diwali drawn from more than one epic and various scriptures such as puranas.
REASONS FOR CELEBRATING DIWALI AS 5 DAYS FESTIVAL IN INDIA:
Two days prior to Diwali is the celebration called Dhantryaodashi or dhanteras. It is the day on which the god Dhanvantri gave Amrit (elixir) to the gods and the demons who churned the milky ocean. The day is also considered very auspicious for the another reason as the goddesses Lakshmi originated from the ocean on this same day. And Diwali is a celebration in honor of the Goddess Lakshmi.
The day before Diwali is celebrated for defeat and death of the rakshasa Narakasura by Lord Krishna and his wife sathyabhama. Narakasura is demon who after attain boon from the god has conquered Lord Indra and wealth, abducted nearly 16000 daughters of saints and sadhus and also tortured the gods as he was defenseless in the heaven and other worlds. The Lord Krishna killed him before the day of Diwali. Diwali marks the day when the good ruled over evil and is celebrated for the same.
Another reason for Diwali celebrations originate from the great Epic Ramayana. This day was when King Lord Rama with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman returned from the 14 year exile after defeating the demon king Raavan. Lord Ramaâ€™s return to Ayodhya is celebrated with grand festivities and is another reason behind the Diwali celebration.
According to the epic Mahabharatha, this is the day when the Pandavas, returned back from exile, after having lost to the Kauravas in a game of dice. Their subjects loved them so much that they lit lamps outside their houses to welcome them back and this tradition is followed even today.
Another story in the hindu mythology goes on to state that this is the day when Goddess Kali, after having ravaged the entire world with her killing spree, repented after stepping over Lord Shiva. This day is celebrated seeking the Goddessâ€™ blessings to fight evil and to prosper in life.
To the Sikhs, it is the day, their sixth guru got freedom from the Mughal emperor and it was also on the day of Diwali when the foundation for the Golden temple was laid.
To the Jains, the festival marks the day when their last Tirthankara, Lord Mahavira, attained his nirvana. It is also the day where they celebrate the freedom of spirit from materialistic desires.
Diwali is not just celebrated as a festival of joy and prosperity, and as a tribute to Gods and Goddesses. It also marks the culmination of efforts by farmers, as it falls in the right time of the Kharif crop. It is also a celebration to mark rich harvest.