Diwali, also known as Deepavali, meaning a “Row of Lights,” is one of the most significant and widely celebrated festivals in India. It is a Hindu festival that is often referred to as the “Festival of Lights.” There are various stories regarding the origin of Diwali, which is why people celebrate it in different ways across various regions of the country.
Mythology of Diwali
The mythology behind Diwali varies across different regions of India, but there are some common stories and themes associated with the festival: Lord Rama’s return from exile, Goddess Lakshmi’s emergence, the Return of the Pandavas, Lord Krishna’s victory over Narakasura, and Goddess Kali’s triumph against Raktabija. All of these tales symbolize victory over evil, prosperity, and the power of divinity.
The Return of Lord Rama: One of the most popular stories behind Diwali is the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshmana to the kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana. The people of Ayodhya welcomed their beloved prince by lighting oil lamps, or diyas and bursting fireworks. This tradition of lighting lamps symbolises the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.
The Victory of Lord Krishna: In some parts of India, Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura. It is believed that on this day, Lord Krishna defeated the evil demon and rescued 16,000 captive princesses, bringing light and hope to their lives. Krishna returned home early morning on the day of Narakachaturdashi.
Also Read: 15 Beautiful Rangoli Designs for Diwali
Importance of Rangoli Designing
Rangoli is a traditional and colourful art form that plays a significant role in Diwali celebrations. It involves creating intricate and vibrant patterns on the ground, usually at the entrance of homes or in courtyards. The patterns and designs in Rangoli have specific meanings and are often used to welcome guests, offer prayers, and symbolize various aspects of Indian spirituality and customs.
Here’s why Rangoli is important during Diwali
Welcoming Guests: Rangoli is a way of welcoming guests and inviting positive energy into the home. It is often the first thing people see when they enter a house during Diwali. The beautiful and vibrant designs are believed to bring good luck and happiness to the residents.
Religious Significance: Rangoli is often created with religious motifs and symbols related to Hindu gods and goddesses. It is considered a form of prayer and an offering to the deities. Rangolis symbolize auspiciousness and hold a special significance. It is believed that during Laxmi Puja, Goddess Laxmi herself graces the household with her presence.
The intricate geometrical patterns and designs, crafted using rice flour at the entrance of a home, serve as an invitation to welcome Goddess Lakshmi while dispelling any negative energies or evil spirits. These beautiful designs are also created as an offering to please her, with the hope that she will bestow her blessings upon the house and ensure her presence throughout the entire year.
Many people add petals to the design’s border since stories claim that the Goddess once perched on a lotus flower. Devotees come up with all kinds of inventive methods to include Lakshmi-related aspects in order to impress her.
People create patterns with tiny footprints as a symbol of the Goddess entering their homes in portions of Bengal and Bihar. In Andhra Pradesh, devotees use geometric shapes to create a unique type of rangoli that features an eight-petal lotus (Ashtadal Kamal). In Tamil Nadu, an eight-pointed star is used in place of the sacred flower’s design (Hridaya Kalam). However, Gujarat is also known for its intricate lotus drawings during the Diwali holiday.
Artistic Expression: Rangoli is a creative and artistic expression for those who make it. Women and girls often take great pride in designing intricate patterns and use a variety of coloured powders, flower petals, rice, and other materials to create their designs.
Community Bonding: Rangoli competitions and events are common during Diwali, bringing the community together. These events encourage social interaction and showcase the talent of local artists and enthusiasts.
Symbolism: The patterns in Rangoli often include geometric shapes, flowers, and other auspicious symbols. These designs carry cultural and traditional significance, representing unity, harmony, and well-being.
Overall, Rangoli is a beautiful and culturally rich tradition that adds to the joy and vibrancy of Diwali celebrations. It is a visual representation of the festival’s themes of light, colour, and the triumph of good over evil.