Significance of Diwali - Lord Rama's Homecoming
Diwali is one of the largest festivals in India and around the world. The festival of lights is commonly known as a festival of joy, unity as well as devotion for those who celebrate this festival. The kids love this festival as they get to burst crackers and eat sweets. However, they are also curious as to why Diwali is celebrated. Whereas the common answer is the triumph of good over evil, the same can be explained in fun ways to them. The festival can be explained to the kids in the following manner:
Return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya
The most widely celebrated reason for Diwali in North and Western India is to celebrate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. The story of Ramayana can be told to the kids which are even available in animated cartoons. This will allow them to relate to the festival, learn about the history as well as celebrate the festival with greater enthusiasm.
The festival is widely celebrated in the south due to the killing of Hiranyakashipu by Narsimha. King Hirankyakashipu could only be killed under unique circumstances by someone who was not a man and neither an animal and at a time when it was neither day nor night. The story is depicted in various temples of South India and is a fascinating tale about the Indian deities which can be enlightening for young kids.
The Jains celebrate the festival due to the Nirvana of their 24th Tirthankara whereas Sikhs celebrate the day Guru Hargobind Ji was freed from imprisonment.
Apart from the various religious reasons, each day of the festival itself is special. Starting from the day of Dhanteras wherein wealth is worshipped to the day of Bhai-dooj wherein the relationship between siblings is celebrated. The five days of Diwali celebrated across India allow the kids to get in touch with Indian traditions as well as worship different Gods and Goddesses of the country. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped during Diwali whereas families across the country get together on New Year’s to greet each other and seek blessings.
Diwali is a festival that resets the year as per the Hindu Calendar and signifies a fresh beginning for everyone. When children ask why Diwali is celebrated, there could be a variety of answers. This signifies the uniqueness of the festival as there is no single reason to celebrate it but a variety of reasons to do so. These stories and the reason behind each day of the festival will allow the child to understand the significance and give them an additional reason to celebrate and enjoy the festival.
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