Gear up because the festive season is not over yet, because after Dasara we are headed to the biggest festival celebrated throughout the country, Diwali, also known as Deepavali in South India. Yes, the rituals, legends and celebration might be a tad bit different in all the corners of India but the zeal and enthusiasm to rejoice the victory of light over darkness is the main essence of Deepavali.
The Zee Kannada Kutumba celebrates this festival with fervour every year and we couldn’t be happier. It’s the time to get together once again with your near and dear ones, wear nice/new clothes, redecorate the house, conducts poojas for your vehicles, buying gold and so much more. Most of all the Festival of Lights is not just a one day period. Like Dasara, in Karnataka, we celebrate Deepavali for a period of 5 days.
On that note, we would like to tell you about the history of Deepavali in our state, it’s significance and how it is celebrated amongst Kannadathis.
The Legend Behind Deepavali In Karnataka
According to the old lore, it is said that a demon king named Bali grew too powerful in the Southern parts of the country causing nothing but chaos and tension, many millennia ago. To slay him and end his era of cruelty, Lord Vishnu had to come down to the earth in the form of the Vamana Avatar (5th of the 10 incarnations of Vishnu). Since he appeared to the king as a Brahmin and asked for land the size of his three footsteps, the Bali had no choice but to oblige.
However, things turned against Bali when the Brahmin (who was actually Lord Vishnu) grew enormous in size, enough to place one foot on the entire earth and one foot in the heavens. For the third footstep, Bali understood what is going on and in humility bowed down his head and gave it in offering for the Lord to place his foot on his head, thus ending a ruthless king’s era.
Deepavali is also known for another famous legend when Lord Krishna (the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu) destroyed the evil Narakasura, the King of Pragyotispura. While many people claim that both these stories overlap and cumulatively give them a reason to celebrate the festival of lights (because both Vamana and Krishna ended darkness and evil to give way to light), till date no one has been able to find the real source of the information.
Five Days Of Deepavali In Karnataka
Day 1: Dhanatrayodashi (Known as Dhanteras in the North)
Also known as Ashvija Krishna Thrayodasi in South, Dhanatrayodashi is the first of the five days and is considered to be holy to purchase new items for the house. This primarily includes Gold, new automobiles or even a new house. It is also the times when families start cleaning their house and workspaces thoroughly.
Day 2: Naraka Chaturdashi (Known as Choti Diwali in the North)
The second of the five days is known as Narachaturdashi and signifies the triumph of Lord Krishna over Narakasura another evil King, who ruled with nothing by tyranny. As a custom, the members of every household wake up in the early hours of the day to take an oil bath with Till seed oil and Shikhakai ( a herb used since the period of the Gods for the skin and hair wash purposes).
Day 3: Lakshmi Pooja
Considered a very auspicious day out of the five, this is the day that all devotees pray to Goddess Lakshmi, for wealth and prosperity. This is commonly marked by the way entrances of doorways are left open with lamps outside to welcome the Goddess in the hopes that she brings in success and wealth for everyone.
Day 4: Bali Padyam
As mentioned earlier, the fourth day signifies the time when Vamana slew the evil king Bali, who wreaked havoc in the country by giving him a lesson in humility. The Asura King was then banned to the Pathaala Loka (also known as Hell). The speciality of this day is that delicious foods like Obbattu or Holige (known as Puran Poli in the North) are to be served to everyone in the family.
Day 5: Yama Dwitiya (Known as Bhai Dooj in North)
Ideally, for Kanndathis, the four days ends the festival of Diwali, but it is important regardless because according to legend, it was on this day that Lord Yama (the King of the Netherworld) came to earth to meet his sister Yamuna (river Yamuna), and not only spent some time with her but gave her a parting gift too as he was leaving. The festival is much similar to ‘Gowri Habba’ in Karnataka.
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