India’s one of the grand “Festival of Lights” called “Diwali 2023” is celebrated over a week with so much fervor Nationally & Internationally. The world celebrate the festival of Diwali with India by lighting the lamps, giving sweets & gifts and burning fireworks. There are many rituals and festivals celebrated everyday which you should know and join with the people of India and celebrate it.
1. Govatsa Dwadashi 2023
The first day which marks the beginning of Diwali festivities. On this day Cows & Calves are washed and adorn with flowers, clothes, apply ‘kum kum’, turmeric and worship the holy Cow. An Aarti is performed with all family members and then offers sprouts, jaggery and many food items.
Vagh Baras is celebrated every year a day before Dhanteras on the 12th day of Krishna Paksha in Kartik month (Hindu lunar calendar). This year Govatsa Dwadashi will be celebrated on 9th Novemer 2023. And the Shubh Muhurat Puja time from 5:31 PM to 8:10 PM
Govatsa Dwadashi is known by several different names “Guru Dwadashi” or “Vasu Baras” or “Vagh Baras” or “Sripada Vallabha Aradhana Utsav in Andhra Pradesh”. This Vasu Baras is mostly celebrated in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Western states of India. A cow is a very sacred being in Hindu culture and worshiped as a holy mother. On this day women observe fast ‘Nandini vrat’ for their children’s happiness and longlife. Its also believed that Lord Dattatreya the 10th incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu vanished into Krishna river, so people also worship Lord Krishna along with the holy cow for their well-being.
The interesting fact related to Govatsa Dwadashi is that, people of companies use account books or book keepers of their accounts, make everything clear on this day and after they use new book ledgers for upcoming accounts. Because here ‘Vagh’ refers to repaying one’s financial debts.
Dhanteras is a Sanskrit word, Dhan means “wealth” and teras means “13th day”. So every year Dhanteras is celebrated on the 13th day ‘Trayodashi’ in Kartik month (Hindu lunar calendar) which is often called Dhantrayodashi. This year Dhanteras will be on 10th November 2023. And the Shubh Muhurat Puja Time is from 5:45 PM to 7:45 PM
Devotees worship the God Dhanvantari (as father of Ayurveda medicine and physician) for good health and prosperity. People buy auspicious items like Gold, silver jewelry and many metal utensils on this day. Devotees dedicate these auspicious items to God Kuber who is considered to be the protector of wealth and prosperity. It’s believed that by worshiping Lord Kuber on this day, all problems related to wealth will be resolved.
Devotees also worship the Goddess Lakshmi who represents wealth, material and spiritual prosperity and seeks blessing for their wellness and fortune.Many rituals are performed on this day, like the red footprints of vermillion created at the entrance of the house which depicts the coming of Goddess Lakshmi. Also on both sides of entrance door of the house, symbols of ‘Swastika’ and ‘Shri’ created which shows the coming of Goddess Shri Devi of Good Luck, along with “Shubh Labh” who are the sons of Lord Ganesha for the wellness and prosperity of the house. Devotees also perform a ritual called ‘Yama Deepam Daan’ to worship the Lord Yamdev (God of Death), litup 13 earthen lamps (diyas) at the entrance of the house and pray for the family members’ safety and drive away the evil energy from the house.
3. Choti Diwali 2023
From here festivity starts, the houses’ decorations with lights, flowers, earthen lamps (diyas), rangolis created and much more celebrations start with such fervor. The festival is celebrated on the 14th day of Krishna Paksha in kartik month (Hindu calendar) i.e. called “Chaudas”.
This year Choti Diwali will be celebrated on 11th November 2023. This Choti Diwali is also celebrated with several names like “Kali Chaudas, Narak Chaturdashi, Roop Chaudas, Bhoot Chaturdashi” in different regions of India.
So What’s the story behind these celebrations? It’s believed that demon Narakasura abducted Vedic Goddess Aditi and killed several women in her kingdom. To save her and his kingdom Lord Krishna with her wife Satyabhama fought and killed the demon Narakasura. So this day is celebrated as “Narak Chaturadashi or Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi”.
Apart from this, in North-East states of India this day is celebrated as “Kali Chaudas”, it is believed that the Goddess Kali killed the demon Narakasura and Raktavija. This festival marks the victory of good over evil.
In West Bengal of India is also celebrated as ‘Bhoot chaturdashi’, it is believed that the day before Kali Puja (or Diwali) on Choti Diwali the souls of deceased visit their loved ones. So people lit up the lights or lamps to ward off the evil energy.
This day is also celebrated as ‘Roop chaudas’ in many parts of India, ‘Roop’ represents ‘beauty of women’ and women beautify themselves on this day and worship to gain beauty for the long life.
4. Diwali 2023
Here comes the day “Festival of Lights‘, the biggest festival, not only Hindus, but Jains, Sikhs and other religions also celebrate this day in their own way. Everyone wears new clothes, wishing each other, sweets distributed among dear ones and houses, temples decorated with lights, diyas or earthen lamps filled with mustard oil, firecrackers bursting everywhere, many rituals and traditions performed, especially Goddess Lakshmi and God Ganesha with others are worshiped for the prosperity and good luck. It seems so blissful which you can’t describe in words.
Diwali 2023 is celebrated every year on ‘Amavasya’ the 15th day of the Kartik month (Hindu lunar calendar). This year Diwali will be celebrated on 12th November 2023.
Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, where Lord Ram killed demon Ravan and after that returned to his Kingdom. Goddess Kali killed the demon Raktavija, Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. It depicts the dark clouds have gone and the new beginning of life has begun, people celebrate with so much fervor, enjoyment and festivities.
5. Govardhan Puja 2023
Every year Govardhan Puja is conducted on the next day of Diwali (or the first day of Shukla Paksha in Kartik month). This year Govardhan Puja will be performed on 13th November 2023.
This day Govardhan Puja is celebrated with many rituals and different names like Giriraj Puja, Annakut Puja, Bali Pratipada. Govardhan mountain is worshiped in Mathura, UP, India along with Lord Krishna & sacred cows and other deities are also worshiped Varuna Dev (God of Water), Indra Dev (King of God or heaven) and Agni Dev (God of Fire).
Devotees who can’t reach Govardhan mountain, they create idols of Govardhan & Lord Krishna at their homes or neighborhoods with cow dung and offer prayers with flowers, curd, honey, milk, sweets and do parikrama.
Annakut Puja is also performed with several types of grains mixed (wheat, bajra & more), cooked and offered to God and then distributed to devotees.
Govardhan Puja story is that God Indra was so angry and he was raining everywhere and devastating the land everywhere, to break his ego Lord Krishna carried the mountain on his little finger and saved lives. And then Lord Krishna to thank the Govardhan mountain, he worshiped with 56 Bhogs (different types of Sweets and cuisines).
Bali Pratipada is also celebrated on this day, which marks the victory of Vamana 5th incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu over the demon King Bali often called ‘MahaBali’.
Diwali Padwa is also celebrated in which especially married women observe fast, worship the God and offer prayers and seek blessings for the prosperity, wealth and good life of their husband.
6. Bhai Dooj 2023
Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month (Hindu lunar calendar) or the next day of Govardhan Puja or after 2 days of Diwali. This year Bhai Dooj 2023 will be celebrated on 14th November 2023 [Shubh Muharat for Bhai Dooj 2023 is between 1:10 PM and 3:19 PM].
This Bhai Dooj is celebrated with different names in several states Bhau beej, Bhai Tika, Bhai Phota, Bhaiya Dooj, Yam Dwitiya. This day is celebrated like Rakshabandhan, but the main focus goes on brothers. On this day sisters tie a sacred thread to the wrist of her brother and put a Tilak (Tika) on his forehead of vermillion with rice, perform aarti and offer prayer to God, seek blessings to protect her brother, and bless him with prosperity and fortune.
And the interesting part is the sisters don’t go with empty hands, they get the return gifts, especially an envelope of money. It’s an amazing ritual to be performed, which depicts the love and bond between the brother and sister. It’s an auspicious day to celebrate with brothers, sisters, family, relatives and loved ones.
Why Govatsa Dwadashi is celebrated ?
It’s believed that during the ‘Samudramanthan’ churning of ocean by deities and demons, five wish fulfilling cows appeared, one of them a heavenly cow called Nandini. People pay respect and worship the sacred cow, especially women, observe fast on this day. Govatsa Dwadashi is celebrated with different names like (“Vasu Baras” in Maharashtra, Karnataka), (“Sripada Vallabha Aradhana Utsav” in Andhra Pradesh) and (“Vagh Baras in Gujarat”).
When is the Govatsa Dwadashi or Vasu Baras or Vagh Baras 2023 ?
This year Vasu Baras or Vagh Baras or Govatsa Dwadashi will be celebrated on 9th November 2023 and Shubh Muhurat Puja time from 5:31 PM to 8:10 PM.
When is Diwali 2023 date ?
Diwali 2023 will be celebrated on 12th November 2023.
When is Dhanteras 2023 date ?
Dhanteras 2023 will be celebrated on 10th November 2023 and Shubh Muhurat Puja Time is from 5:45 PM to 7:45 PM.