Is Diwali (Deepawali) a Public Holiday?
Diwali (Deepawali) is observed as a public holiday by general masses, schools, universities, government and private sector offices, local shops and stores in India.
The day of Diwali, as per the Hindu Panchang, commonly falls on the Amavasya or New Moon day during the month of Kartik. Mahalaxmi puja carried out on this day must take place during the Pradosh Kaal.
Not only in India, this day is observed as a public holiday in several neighbouring and other countries as well. Therefore, business organizations remain closed on this day or follow a reduced time table. Public transport services can get affected on this day
Deepawali in India: History & Religious Significance
Diwali history holds relevant significance and commemorates the beginning of its observance.
Diwali commemorates the return of Ayodhya King Lord Ram along with his brother Lakshman and wife Sita after fourteen years of exile and defeating the demon King Ravana. On his return, the people of Ayodhya lit diyas and illuminated the whole kingdom to welcome him back. Lighting diyas on this day marks the destruction of evil and symbolizes the victory of “Good Over Evil”.
Maa Lakshmi is worshipped on the day of Diwali. She symbolises wealth, financial prosperity and materialistic comforts, and her ascension in one’s house can turn the tables of life. It is believed that it was the night of Diwali when Maa Lakshmi chose to wed Lord Vishnu.
As per another popular legend, the festival of Diwali celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, over the Demon Narakasura by killing him and freeing innocent 16,000 young girls from his captivity. This day has come to be known as Naraka Chaturdashi, which falls one day before Diwali.
In Eastern Indian states, Maa Kali, the fierce avatar of Maa Durga, is worshipped on this occasion. Several traders and merchants on this day venerate Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, Music and Intellect. Also, several Hindus in Western states consider this day as the beginning of a New Year.
Diwali, in Jainism, commemorates the occasion of Mahavira Nirvana Divas as per the Jain Calendar. It is believed that on this very day, Lord Mahavira, the last and twenty fourth Tirthankara, attained Nirvana and physically left this mortal world. Followers of Jainism celebrate the festival of Diwali similarly to that of Hindus but the main deity remains Lord Mahavira.
Bandi Chhor Divas is a festival celebrated on the day of Diwali in Sikhism. This day commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind, the Sixth Nanak Guru in Sikhism, from Gwalior Fort. As per the legend, Guru Har Gobind was captured by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in a prison in the Gwalior Fort. Hence, lights and lamps are lit on this occasion, and people visit the Gurudwaras to seek the Almighty’s blessings.
Laxmi Puja on Diwali
Maha Lakshmi Puja is carried out on the day of Diwali, and is a long standing tradition in Hinduism. As per the Puranas or ancient religious scriptures, Maa Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth & Prosperity, is venerated on this day. Below are the rituals to be followed:
- The house must be thoroughly cleaned, and every corner must be dusted.
- Sprinkle the Holy Gangajal for purifying the house.
- Then, you must take a bath and wear fresh, new clothes.
- Decorate the house with earthen lamps, flowers, rangoli and much more.
- Clean a place of worship or altar and spread a red-colored cloth on top of it.
- Place the idols or pictures of Maa Laxmi and Lord Ganesha on the cloth.
- Fill an urn or Kalash with water and place it near the place of worship.
- Apply a tilak made of turmeric and vermillion or Kumkum on the idols of the deities.
- Light the lamp with Ghee and place it on a plate with Akshat, turmeric powder, saffron, Gulal, sandalwood paste etc.
- First, Lord Ganesha is venerated by reciting the Ganesha Aarti.
- After this, Maa Laxmi is worshipped with devotion.
- Maa Saraswati, Maa Kali, Lord Vishnu and Lord Kuber are also venerated as per the rituals.
- All the family members must remain present during the puja ceremony.
- Then, Prasaad must be offered to the deities and Kheel-Batashe-Khilone must be given away throughout the house.
- Lamps and lights must be lit on this occasion in order to guide the ancestors towards salvation.
Diwali Celebrations in India
Diwali celebrations in India last for up to a week. The Diwali Week begins from Dhanteras, followed by Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi, then Diwali, Govardhan Puja and ending on Bhai Dooj. Houses, Corporate Offices, Buildings and several government buildings are decorated on this day with diyas, flowers, lights and lanterns.
Bowls filled with water, flowers and candles are kept at the reception of several offices. Employees at offices celebrate this day by organizing Rangoli competitions, bay decorations, and other cultural activities.
This is the occasion of giving and receiving gifts and sweets. People purchase gifts and presents for their business partners, associates, family members and friends. Deep house cleaning is carried out throughout the Diwali Week.
Several rural and urban cities organize major Diwali fairs or Melas. People pray, prepare new dishes, wish their loved ones “Happy Diwali” and share Diwali wishes with those living far. Maa Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are widely worshipped on this occasion. After Diwali Puja is conducted, fireworks are carried out across the country, with people burning a number of crackers, skyshots, rockets and much more.
Deepavali Traditions in India
Deepavali celebrations in India span for over five, long days. Throughout these days, the houses remain filled with prosperity, happiness, gifts and guests. Indians deep-clean their houses, wash every nook and corner and then move onto decorations.
On this occasion, there is a tradition of decorating the houses with lights, flowers, Diyas and intricate Rangoli designs. One of the main traditions followed on Diwali is creating a Rangoli either inside or outside the house. It can be made with colored rice, colors, flowers, paint etc. people prepare delicious sweets on this occasion and purchase gifts for their loved ones and friends.
It is a tradition to light Earthen Diyas around the house on the night of Diwali, since this gesture marks the arrival of this Festival of Lights. It is believed that the flame of an Earthen Diya possesses the mārak tattva, which eliminates any kind of negative spirits present within the house and creates a protective shield.
Lighting Lanterns, Crackers and Fireworks is carried out on the occasion of Diwali and said to be a popular tradition. However, with rising air-borne diseases and health risks, Indian Government has now started keeping a check on bursting crackers and partially banned the actin several states.
Happy Diwali Wishes
- “May the auspicious festival of lights, beautifully illuminate every corner of your life by adding sparkling moments of Love, Happiness, Success, and Joy. May you enjoy this festival with your loved ones with high spirits.”
- “Light a lamp of love! Blast a chain of sorrow! Shoot a rocket of prosperity! Fire a flowerpot of happiness! Wish you and your family sparking Diwali!”
- “Wishing you a gleam of diyas, echo of holy chants, contentment and happiness today, tomorrow and forever. Have a happy and prosperous Diwali!”
- “May this Diwali, Come up with Beautiful Beginning, Fresh Hope, Bright Days and New Dreams. Wishing You a Happy Diwali!”
- “Diwali is the magical time to celebrate with the ones who matter to you. I wish the merriment of this wonderful festival makes your life joyous and bright. Have a happy and blessed Diwali!”
|2019||Sun||27 October||Diwali/Deepavali||Gazetted Holiday|
|2020||Sat||14 November||Diwali/Deepavali||Gazetted Holiday|
|2021||Thu||4 November||Diwali/Deepavali||Gazetted Holiday|
|2022||Mon||24 October||Diwali/Deepavali||Gazetted Holiday|
|2023||Sun||12 November||Diwali/Deepavali||Gazetted Holiday|
|2024||Fri||1 November||Diwali/Deepavali||Gazetted Holiday|
|2025||Tue||21 October||Diwali/Deepavali||Gazetted Holiday|
1. Is Diwali a bank holiday in India?
Yes, Diwali in India is considered a bank holiday.
2. Is there a reason behind people gambling on Diwali?
As per the legend, Maa Parvati played a game of Dice with her husband Shiva, and declared that anyone gambling on the night of Diwali would gain prosperity and luck.
3. Is Diwali celebrated only by Hindus?
Apart from being one of the major Hindu festivals, Diwali is celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists all over the world.
4. Is Diwali celebrated only in India?
No. The festival of Diwali is celebrated worldwide and considered an official public holiday in several other countries such as Singapore, Nepal, Sri Lanka etc.
From the above information, it is evident that the festival of Diwali (Deepawali) 2020 in India is celebrated on Saturday, 14 November with enthusiasm and fervour. We hope you have liked this article on Diwali (Deepawali) in India. Thank you for being an important part of AstroSage.