Updated: Deepavali-Diwali – November 1st-4th 2013

The word Diwali originated from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali” which means “rows of light”. This 5 day long Hindu festival is celebrated throughout the world with great enthusiasm and happiness. Diwali or deepavali is the festival signifying the victory of good against evil.

It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India and all over the world. Diwali comes 3 weeks after Dasara.

The first day of Diwali celebrations i.e. on Thrayodasi ತ್ರಯೋದಶಿ is called as Neeru Thumbuva Habba ನೀರು ತುಂಬುವ ಹಬ್ಬ in Kannada. This day all the vessels which are used to fill or collect water are cleaned in the evening, decorated with mango leaves, flowers, and rangoli. I remember all the water geysers and boilers were washed, filled with fresh water and rangoli drawn on them this day.

The rangoli prepared is by soaking rice in water for a few hours and grinding the same into a smooth paste. My Mom used to take a piece of cloth, dip it into this rice paste and draw Rangoli every where from the front door to the kitchen. All corners of the house used to have rangoli, which used to be as white as milk. Just amazing.

Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated on the second day of diwali celebrations. People wake up early in the morning apply the kumkum (ladies in the household do the arathi), on their foreheads and then take bath.

We used to all sit on a platform, usually called a Mane which is decorated with Rangoli designs, lamps lit on both sides. Everyone is applied Kumkum on the forehead, given betel leaf, nut, and arathi is done by elderly ladies in the house. They will take the oil cup and dip a flower  in it and apply it on everyones head. And the man are supposed to give money for the ladies doing the Aarathi. Such a nice tradition, isn’t it?

The story goes that Narakasura the daemon ruler of Pragjyotishpur after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned 16,000 daughters of the gods and saints in his harem. On the day previous to Naraka-chaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned daughters and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. As a symbol of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood and returned home in the very early morning of the Naraka-chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice.

Another legend is about King Bali. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all ‘Devatas’ so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali’s powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height ‘Brahmin’, and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height ‘Brahmin’ asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish. That very moment that short-height ‘Brahmin’ disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.

The third day of Diwali is the most important day during which we perform Lakshmi Pooje; to the Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Pooje falls on the dark night of Amavasya. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek blessings of Goddess of Wealth.

I am sure you all will do the Lakshmi Pooje, and get her blessings. The most important song we sing while performing Lakshmi Pooje is Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma song.

The fourth day of Diwali is called “Bali Padyami“. Bali would come out of Pathala Loka and rule Bhuloka as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is known as ‘Bali Padyami’.

P.S: Diwali dates – 2013

This year Diwali is celebrated from November 1st – November 4th.

November 1st – Neeru Thumbuva Habba

November 2th – Naraka Chaturdasi

November 3rd – Lakshmi Pooja

November 4th – Bali Padyami

What is Naraka Chaturdashi?

Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated on the second day of diwali celebrations. People wake up early in the morning apply the kumkum (ladies in the household do the arathi), on their foreheads and then take bath.

The story goes that Narakasura the daemon ruler of Pragjyotishpur after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned 16,000 daughters of the gods and saints in his harem. On the day previous to Naraka-chaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned daughters and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. As a symbol of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood and returned home in the very early morning of the Naraka-chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice.

Another legend is about King Bali. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all ‘Devatas’ so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali’s powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height ‘Brahmin’, and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height ‘Brahmin’ asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish. That very moment that short-height ‘Brahmin’ disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.

November 3rd – Lakshmi Pooja

P.S: Past few years pooja pictures attached below….


The third day of Diwali is the most important day during which we perform Lakshmi Pooje; to the Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Pooje falls on the dark night of Amavasya. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek blessings of Goddess of Wealth.

I am sure you all will do the Lakshmi Pooje, and get her blessings. The most important song we sing while performing Lakshmi Pooje is Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma song.

Some useful links for Lakshmi Pooja:

November 4th – Bali Padyami

The fourth day of Diwali is called “Bali Padyami“. Bali would come out of Pathala Loka  ಪಾತಾಳ ಲೋಕ and rule Bhuloka ಭೂಲೋಕ as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is known as ‘Bali Padyami’.

King Bali of the netherworld, with his mighty power, had become a threat to the gods. To curb his powers, Lord Vishnu in the guise of a Brahmin boy (Vamana), visited him and begged for that much land he could cover with three footsteps.

So, with the first step, Vamana covered the entire heaven and with the second step the earth. When he asked Bali where he could keep his third step, Bali offered his head and put the Lord’s foot on his head. Lord Vishnu banishes Bali into the Pathala (nether land) by his third stride. Later, pleased by his generosity, Lord Vishnu grants him a boon to return to earth once in a year to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance and spread the radiance of love and wisdom.

Links to songs sung while performing Aarathi during Diwali.

Diwali Songs Part 1

Diwali Songs Part2

Dishes to be prepared for Diwali

Rangoli for Diwali

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39 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by nagalakshmi on October 27, 2010 at 7:24 am

    dear meera, lakshmi pooje photos are really fantastic and amazing.

    Reply

  2. Posted by meeraghu on October 27, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Thanks Nagalakshmi.

    Reply

  3. Posted by bgrinner on October 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    The essay and fact of the contents written under the caption “Diwali-Deepavali” are really very delightful to read and to follow by people like me who do not know more than just reciting a few prayers to Lord Nrisimhar and Shree Mahalakshmi. Thank you, indeed.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Divya on October 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I am a non-brahmin and i married a madhwa boy. I cannot tell you how much this website is helpful to me to learn about my mother-in-laws tradition. i am so thankful to you guys. Keep going!

    Reply

  5. Posted by vasantharao dusthakar on October 31, 2010 at 3:02 am

    sri
    highly informative

    Reply

  6. Posted by bgrinner on October 31, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Thank you, Meeraghu, for sending to my in-box info on Deepavali in English.

    Reply

  7. Posted by bgrinner on October 31, 2010 at 9:49 am

    One sees a lot of glare on the divine images of Mahalakshmi in the post, and that’s a hindrance to view the images somewhat difficult.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Srividya on November 1, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Hi Meera,

    I am very much impressed by this website. Great work and very informative for the interested people.
    I am so thankfull to you, keep going!!!

    Happy Deepavali!!!!!!

    Reply

  9. Posted by Sudha Pradhyumna on November 2, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Madam,

    Thanks again. I have one doubt, can you please explain me again the process of doing aarthi on naraka chaturdashi before. Will the elder ladies at home first take bath and then do aarthi.

    Reply

  10. Posted by suryanarayana.v.n on November 2, 2010 at 4:47 am

    The photos are very nice, You give full information for deepavali festival. It is very useful to everybody
    ,It is really good web site giving all information regarding all festivals. Now days every day leaving of customs you are helping the Hindu people ( Young Generation’s ) to keep Hindu custom alive. Thanks a lot.
    I WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, MEMBERS OF THIS WEB SITE . HAPPY DEEPAVALI, GOD BLESS EVERYBODY.
    with regards.
    SURYA NARAYANA. V.N
    BANGALORE.

    Reply

  11. Posted by karthik balram rao on November 2, 2010 at 7:59 am

    this year amavasya is on nov 5th. you have mentioned that lakshmi pooje is performed during amavasya. so is lakshmi pooje to be performed on 5th itself or the next day?

    Reply

  12. Posted by Sudha Pradhyumna on November 3, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Madam,

    Wish you and your family a very happy deepavali.

    Regards,
    Sudha

    Reply

  13. Posted by Shwetha on November 3, 2010 at 11:15 am

    hii meera…
    thanks for such a informative things about deepaavali.. and thanks for the enne hacchida haadu… I wish you and your family a great and prosperous deepavali… :)

    Shwetha Nadiger

    Reply

  14. Dear Meera,

    Wish you and your family, A very Happy and prosperous Deepavali!

    Thank you so much for the wonderful blog.

    Reply

  15. Posted by arathi Ghatikar on November 4, 2010 at 12:34 am

    hi meera ,

    deepavali ya hardika shubhashayagalu nimage mattu manayavige !!

    sukha samriddhiya deepa belagali yellara maneyali !!

    regards
    arathi.

    Reply

  16. Posted by meeraghu on November 4, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Thanks so much, Arathi. Happy deepavali to you also and everyone in your family.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Surekha on November 4, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for posting the lyrics. They are very helpful. Do you have any on Ganga Pooja (day before Diwali) and also song on Naivedya?

    Reply

    • Posted by meeraghu on November 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      I don’t have any on Ganga Pooja. I do have several songs on Naivedya, have had no time to translate to eformat.

      Reply

  18. I believe Laxmi puja is on the 5th of november.

    Reply

  19. Posted by shyamala on November 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I really appreciate the effort you are making from this website. Dear Divya, brahmin or non brahmin, does not matter. We are all humans. We need to respect each other, first. I beleive then only we deserve to even think about blessings from gods. Different families have different customs. The goal is same. manashuddhi to pray. So let us leave some old habits and try and focus on prayer and wishing well everyone. .
    Happy deepavali to all

    Reply

  20. delightful read. happy deepavali:]

    Reply

  21. Posted by Rajen on November 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Why we pray early morning on deepawali day I mean once we get up before wear new dress n to whom we pray

    Reply

  22. Posted by purvi on October 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Hi loved the pictures, a request could you pls give step wise directions of how you perform Lakshmi pooja on amavasya day ….also you have kept kalash with ornaments can you also guide on the way to decorate around Lakshmiji on this day …thanks commendable job for helping novices like me ….

    Reply

  23. I really love your blog and i show all my elders at home and they are all happy happy to see you after long break…hope lot of matters will be there in your NENAPINA BUTTI waiting for your share…

    Reply

  24. Posted by rangavittal on October 31, 2013 at 7:26 am

    dear madam, your detailed note on deepavali-diwali is excellent and the details of all other important days before and after deepavali is good. Wish you and your family a very happy deepavali. regards

    Reply

  25. dear madam happy deepavali to you and your family. i want to tell that our bloggers can search http://www.samskrtisallapa.com for all types of articals and songs in kannada. hope it will help and entertain ppl

    Reply

  26. Posted by vidyavenu on November 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Wishing you and your family members a very happy deepavali and welcome back.

    Reply

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