What happens each day of Diwali?
1. Diwali 2021 Day 1 - Dhanteras : November 2 2021(Tuesday)
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanteras or Dhantrayodhashi or Yama Deepam.
Dhanteras, derived from Dhan meaning wealth and Teras meaning thirteenth, On the thirteenth day of dark fortnight, Hindus clean their homes and businesses.
They install diyas or deepams, small earthen lamps that they light up during the next five days, around Lakshmi and Ganesh idols, symbolising a fresh start to a wealthy year ahead without obstacles.
Women and children decorate doors within homes and offices with colorful Rangolis made from rice flour or colored sand.
2. Diwali 2021 Day 2 Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi: Nov. 3, 2021 (Wednesday)
Choti means small or mini. This is the main Deepavali day celebrated in South India.
"Naraka" means hell and "Chaturdashi" means "fourteenth"
This is symbolised by the destruction of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. He frees 16,000 imprisoned princesses kidnapped by Narakasura.
On the second day of Diwali, Hanuman Puja is also performed in North India, especially in Gujarat. Kali Chaudas is also observed. People believe that spirits roam around on the night of Kali Chaudas. They worship Hanuman to seek protection. He is the deity of strength, power, and protection.
Victory of good over evil is also symbolised by the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after defeating the demon-king Ravana and completing his fourteen years of exile.
On the second day of festivities, people purchase festive foods, especially ingredients for making sweets and snacks. They shape them into enticing rolls, balls and squares. They offer them to friends and relatives, and distribute them among the poor.
This day is commonly celebrated as Diwali in Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Karnataka.
3. Diwali 2021 Day 3 "Diwali": Nov. 4, 2021 (Thursday)
The third day is the height of Diwali in North India.
This day of the festival festival begins with the lighting of candles and clay lamps in the home and at temples.
During the evening, families gather together for the Lakshmi Puja, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Then, the lamps are lit again and placed in rows along the walls of temples and homes.
4.Diwali 2021 Day 4 Padwa: Nov. 5, 2021 (Friday)
The fourth day of Diwali is the first day of the bright fortnight of the luni-solar calendar.
It is called Annakut (heap of grain), Padwa, Goverdhan puja, Bali Pratipada, Bali Padyami, Kartik Shukla Pratipada and other names.
This day celebrates Bali's defeat at the hands of Vishnu.
It is also symbolised by Parvati's victory over Shiva in a game of dyuta (dice) on a board of twelve squares and thirty pieces. Shiva then surrenders his shirt and adornments to her. This is said to represent the creation and dissolution of the world.
5.Diwali 2021 Day 5 Bhai Duj: Nov. 6, 2021 (Saturday)
The last day of the festival is Bhai Duj (translates to "brother's day"), Bhau Beej, Bhai Tilak or Bhai Phonta.
It celebrates the sister-brother bond. It is similar to the Raksha Bandhan spirit. This time, it is the brother that travels to meet the sister and her family.
This is symbolised by Yama's sister Yamuna welcoming Yama with a tilaka. Some others also symbolise it as the arrival of Lord Krishna defeating Narakasura and arriving at his sister's, Subhadra, afterwards. In this story, Subhadra welcomes Lord Krishna with a tilaka on his forehead.
On this day, the womenfolk of the household gather, perform a puja with prayers for the well-being of their brothers, then go back to a ritual of feeding them with their hands and receiving presents.