Diwali is one of the primary festivals that’s celebrated with much fervor and gusto in India. Also known as the festival of lights and Deepawali, this festival heralds prosperity, happiness, and togetherness.
While it’s celebrated by almost every religion in India for distinct historical and religious significance, the message each faith imparts is the same ‘victory of light over darkness.’
However, the rituals, traditions, and customs associated are quite different. This could be the main reason for the existence of several Diwali superstitions in India.
These have been religiously followed by natives since the very beginning of time with immense faith and devotion. Here I give you a sneak-peek into the deep-rooted Diwali superstitions in India.
Spruce up your home for Diwali
India illuminates with a very vibrant festive charm as it undergoes a complete transformation during a five-day celebration of Diwali. A couple of days prior to Diwali, natives adorn their abode with a beautiful assortment of lights.
From earthen lamp with cotton wicks to aromatic jelly candles to colorful fairy lights, the houses in the Indian states are lit up in the most aesthetic manner. However, it should be kept in mind that natives don’t light the lamps just to add décor their dwelling. There’s a long-standing myth attached to this tradition.
Why do Indians do this, you may wonder? The answer: people believe that if there is light then there isn’t even an iota of space for darkness.
This is because light is a symbol of the three Ps- purity, prowess, and power. The natives opine that the lights outside are a microcosm of inner spirituality and happiness of the inhabitants of the house.
Therefore brighter the house on Diwali night, happier the people are! When you visit India during Diwali, you’ll be able to recognize the houses inhabited by the happiest lot. And it’s not just the decked up façade of the buildings but the illumination of the soul.
Footprints to attract wealth
Not a single person in India forgets this tradition to enliven the festive vibe. According to Hindu mythology, Diwali is celebrated with lots of pomp and gaiety to commemorate the marriage of Goddess Laxmi and God Vishnu.
While the former deity is associated with granting wealth and prosperity, the latter is worshipped as the protector of the universe. And people are hell-bent in inviting Goddess Laxmi by adopting various methodologies.
What is the secret method to summon the deity of wealth, you may ask? The answer: the sincere devotees whole-heartedly draw the footprints of the Goddess from the entrance to the shrine room.
The outline of the feet is immaculately drawn using rice flour. It is thought that the house with the flawless framework will be visited by Goddess Laxmi.
And when she pays a visit the residents of the house will be blessed with an immense fortune. This explains why there is great pressure on the individual who is responsible for sketching the footprints.
Spiritual Perspective of Rangoli
During Diwali, it seems that deities favor the followers who are both creative as well as artistic. In addition to drawing a footprint of goddess Laxmi, natives are also very fond of designing ‘Rangoli’.
It is an ancient custom to adorn the entrance of the house using a variety of patterns and colorful powder. From geometrical shape to holy animals to sweet-scented flowers, every intricate rangoli design is believed to carry some baseless superstition.
Drawn using colored chalk and crushed limestone, rangoli is thought to be a magnet to Goddess Laxmi- the deity of wealth! A legend exists that bigger and brighter the rangoli, higher the chance of deity entering your abode.
Hinduism states that Rangolis are super auspicious and supposedly possess the spiritual power to attract and transmit energies of the deities. It’s not uncommon to hear people narrate experiencing divine energy radiate from the rangoli. While the radiation of the vibration is not recorded scientifically, Indians firmly believe in the mystical energy of the rangoli.
What’s more; natives are a firm adherent of the rangoli superstition that designs decide the fate of the energy to be channelized. Therefore, women chant hymns while drawing the designs with a calm mind and a pure heart.
This is accepted as the primary source that provides positive energy to the occupiers of the house. Now you know the stunning designs are not just decorations but something very dear in Indian tradition.
Unreasonable and brutal Diwali superstition
Blinded by the mystical power of myths and swayed by the so-called-spiritual baba, many times people in India cross the line of humanity. They resort to ruthless ways to get their desires fulfilled even if it means harming innocent creatures like a bird.
In the name of religious belief, people are willing to sacrifice the lives of other animals. Because of this, there has been an increase in the rampant poaching of certain species of birds like owl, Indian Rollers, and peacock.
It might shock you to the core that these birds are trapped in their natural habitat. It might shock you to the core that these birds are trapped in their natural habitat. Before they are caged many do torture the poor birds to prevent them from escaping. This includes tying the legs or even gluing the wings of these unfortunate birds. And all because they are to be sacrificed for eons-old superstitions!
What is the myth you may ask? The answer: Indians believe in the legend that sacrificing an owl on the night of Diwali is auspicious.
The natives are of the opinion that Goddess Laxmi rides on the owl. It is senseless why people kill an owl and use its body organs like a skull, ear tuffs, heart and many more for suspicious rituals.
Gamble to attract prosperity during Diwali
Gambling is avoided by the majority of Indians on any day but Diwali. It is believed that if you want to invoke the goddess of wealth and fortune then you should be an active participant in a game of gambling.
While it is considered auspicious to cross your fingers, don’t tempt your fate by crossing your legs. The former one is done to attract luck however the latter is believed to cancel out any blessing you may have.
Moreover, people go insanely crazy over winning the round of dice or cards even when they are running out of cash.
At times natives do not hesitate to bet their belongings like cars because of the widespread superstition. Blindly following this notion has led to more fights and losses than winning the match.
Counting Money during Diwali
Another superstition related to gambling in Diwali discourages you from counting your money when at the table. According to one popular gambling superstition, you shouldn’t know the sum of money you’ve won, no matter where you are!
The myth has planted a seed of doubt in the majority of Indian’s mind that it’s a bad omen to count money on the table. This superstition got deep-rooted in the society when many swore; they lost their possessions merely because they had counted cash.
There are some individuals who state, the loss can be because of the evil eye that’s widespread in India.
A warm welcome to the New Year
India celebrates its New Year on 1st January with a lot of enthusiasm and warmth. It might surprise you that the natives of the country are lucky enough to celebrate another new beginning as well.
Diwali, the festival of light, is the start of the new Hindu financial year. It’s believed to be the perfect time to start new account books.
Why you may ask? The answer: Indians worship deity of wealth on Diwali in the hope that they’ll be showered with immense prosperity and fortune.
Therefore you’ll be able to see every businessman open and maintain account books on this auspicious day of the year. They commence their financial year with prayers and rituals so that the entire year turns out to be extremely fruitful.
What’s more: many Indians make sure to make some judicious investments and purchases on this day.
Any expenditure done on this day is believed to yield a profit to the investor. So it’s not an uncommon sight to see people buying gold and other jewelry.
Chase away the goddess of misfortune
Did you know that India is the country that boasts of having approximately 33 million gods and goddesses? It shouldn’t surprise you that India has a goddess of misfortune ‘Alaskshmi’ who’s responsible for flooding individuals’ life with bad luck and unfortunate happenings.
There is an exclusive ceremony to drive Alaskshmi out of the house. So that Goddess Lakshmi can accept the cordial invitation to your abode for showering wealth and blessings.
To complete the task of driving away from the deity of misfortune, the oldest woman has to perform the ritual. Only after this will the house be free of any negativity and bad luck.
Additionally, this belief is in accordance with the whole idea of Diwali- the victory of good over evil. This always instills optimism in people to believe in the saying that ‘good triumphs evil’, no matter what happens!
Shop till you drop on the first day of Diwali
Another age-old norm that’s loved by the majority of the people is making the most of the festive offers and discounts. The natives ascertain that they make a new purchase on the first day of Diwali.
The sole purpose is not just to entertain oneself and immerse in the festive ambiance but also to follow a long-standing superstition-cum-tradition.
Yes, a superstition that helps you shop! This is something that we all would love to adhere to for years to come. The natives believe that if you shop on the first day of the festival, you’ll stay happy throughout the Hindu financial year.
We don’t know about the entire 12 months but we sure do know about the shopping, don’t we?
Also, a majority of Indians have a firm belief in the saying that spending money on new products ensures prosperity. Therefore people reason that if a day of expenditure equals to months of richness, you shouldn’t hesitate about the cost.
Perk up the feeling of togetherness
India is a country where families, no matter where they are, reunite to celebrate this festival. It’s a jovial, festive ambiance filled with laughter, togetherness, and optimism.
Family members sit around in a circle, share what’s going on in each other’s life and reminisce the good old days. And this perfect reunion is customary because of one much-believed Diwali superstition.
Ancestors have passed on pearls of wisdom- a family that celebrates Diwali together stays together.The natives resolutely believe that spending quality time in Diwali yields happiness and oneness to rekindle the bond.
And this feeling of togetherness is perked up by exchanging gifts to demonstrate unconditional love and affection to the loved ones. The natives splurge on shopping to buy the most special and meaningful gifts.
Why exchange gifts you may ask? The answer: the gifting spree confers the heartfelt feeling, wishes, and blessings which many people find difficulty in.
Also, as it is religion commemoration, Diwali gifts also stand for delivery of one’s prayer to deities for the wellbeing and opulence of the receiver.
Therefore receiving gifts with an open heart and warm smile is paying reverence to the prayers of the gift-giver.
Purchase metal objects on Dhanteras
The first day of the five-day-long Diwali is Dhanteras when Goddess Laxmi is worshipped. The word ‘Dhan’ directly translates to ‘wealth’ in the Hindi language.
Therefore, natives hold their ground firm in paying obeisance to the deity of wealth will attract the desired fortune in the home. While this is a religious conviction that people adhere to, Indians also follow a century-old superstition related to the commencement of Diwali.
In India, people have long been buying at least one new thing on the first of Diwali. Making a new purchase on Dhanteras is believed to be the harbinger of good luck, health, and prosperity.
From gold and silver coins to jewelry and new utensils, people ascertain they invest in metal purchases. There is a widespread belief that buying material goods symbolizes the entry of the deity of wealth inside the house.
That’s not all! The locals of South India beautifully adorn cows with crimson powder, marigold garland and a small bell around its neck. This is mainly prevalent in rural areas where people rely on cows for their income.
From selling nutrient-rich milk to making dairy products, people use cow’s milk in several ways to earn their livelihood.
Therefore, South Indians consider the cow to be equivalent to Goddess Laxmi. And they firmly believe that worshipping cow will please the Goddess who will then bless the devotees with prosperity, good destiny, and wisdom.
Pious ‘Ubtan’ bath
Taking a quick shower or a relaxing bath is something we do on a daily basis, isn’t it? The obvious reason for this is to cleanse our body of anything impure from being outdoors.
However, did you know that as per Hindu tradition bathing also purifies your body of malefic spirits and negative energy?
Before immersing into the frolic of Diwali, it’s a tradition to start this auspicious day with a bath at the break of dawn. And this is not just any mundane way of bathing.
The natives make a smooth paste ‘Ubtan‘ that consists of flour, sandalwood, fragrant flowers, and essential oils.
This beautiful paste in soothing properties is thought to have three amazing results. From beautifying your skin to keeping negativities at bay to attracting wealth and wisdom, this tradition is country-famous to lure good omen.
Cast off evil spirits on Naraka Chaturdashi
Naraka Chaturdashi is the second day of the festival of light that reminds Indians that evils are always abolished. According to Hindu mythology, a demon named ‘Narakasura’ who traumatized humanity was killed by Goddess Mahakali on this day.
In many states of India, it’s also reckoned as the day to obliterate laziness, weariness, and tiredness out of your life.
What’s more: there’s an existence of one superstition that people assume will the evil eye away. In India individuals naively believe in the actuality of black magic by tantric. And the practice of black magic is supposed to be at its peak on this day.
To shield oneself from any deleterious energy, people ascertain to have a head wash on Naraka Chaturdashi.
Also, it’s not uncommon to see females and even males with a neat application of kajal in their eyes. Why you may wonder?
The answer: this action is also taken as a powerful protection from any malevolent spirit and malicious energy.
Lakshmi pooja ritual
The third day is the main day of Diwali when individuals get dolled up to worship the goddess of wealth. Devotees pour in a lot of devotion and gratification while paying obeisance to Goddess Lakshmi- the deity of wealth! After all, who would not want the goddess of wealth at their abode?
Prior to starting the ritual in a tradition way individuals are expected to first take bath. They then sprinkle some holy water ‘gangajal’ on themselves because of one popular Diwali myth.
The customary superstition states, unless you purify yourself and the house with the holy water, you are not completely clean. The purification ritual is a must-follow notion in India that is quite prevalent in not just in rural areas. It might surprise you that tradition is equally famous in both metropolitan and cosmopolitan cities.
What’s more: the worship is also accompanied by beautiful hymns that sing praises about the deity. Families also sit together as the head of the family waves the camphor in front of the deity.
This is believed to keep the family bond super-intact for the New Year that has just started.
Finally, families circumambulate and prostrate in front of the shrine to get the blessing from the Goddess Lakshmi.
Let’s reminisce miracle on Govardhan Pooja
The fourth day of Diwali is to express gratitude to Lord Krishna for the noble task he did for mankind. Hindu mythology mentions that on this particular day Lord Krishna completed a Herculean task to protect the people of his hometown, Vrindavan.
What did he do, you may enquire? The answer: Lord Krishna lifted a colossal Govardhan hill to shelter the natives from the incessant torrential rain. This miraculous action demonstrates that when you pray with a pure heart God definitely comes to your rescue.
Once the devotees worship Lord Krishna’s idols with pure gratification, devotion, and affection, they circumambulate the shrine room and temple. Finally, the devotees bow down their head and touch the feet of the Lord to always stay blessed.
Time to celebrate your siblings
The fifth and final day of Diwali is widely known as ‘Bhai Dooj’- the day to celebrate your siblings! Although brother and sister can at times be super-annoying, they’re the most wonderful beings who will always have your back. This auspicious day glorifies the unbreakable brotherly-sisterly bond with immense grandeur.
One of the widely accepted Hindu mythologies informs us how this extraordinarily special festival came into existence. It is believed that Lord Krishna had defeated an extremely powerful demon named Narkasur.
After this victory Lord Krishna paid a visit to his beloved sister, Subhadra, who welcomed her brother with much love and fervor. She presented him with flowers, sweets and also applied ceremonial tilak on his forehead whilst praying for his longevity, protection, and happiness.
The natives heartily believe that this day strengthens the bond between a brother and sister. Also, sisters pray that their brother is always protected from any evil lurking around and misfortunes.
Brothers in return takes a vow to shower their sisters with love and care for eternity, no matter what happens!
The natives also fly kite on this legendary festival. Indians believe that kites carry the prayers made by sister to God’s doorstep. This is unarguably one of the purest and the most beautiful celebrations across the world.
Diwali – India’s Favorite Festival
Diwali ‘the festival of light‘ is the festival that everyone looks forward to in Indian. While Diwali-superstition may or may not be true, it’s a festival to bring families closer and share happiness and laughter.
With an amalgamation of different celebrations and several rituals, the five-day-long Diwali is without a doubt India’s favorite festival.
Written by: Shyamli Thakur
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