The 5-day festival of Diwali begins on the day Goddess Lakshmi was born from the churning of cosmic ocean of milk by the gods and the demons.
The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India.
In many parts of India, the festivities start with Dhanteras (in Northern and Western part of India), followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on second day, Deepavali on the third day, Diwali Padva dedicated to wife–husband relationship on the fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej dedicated to sister–brother bond on the fifth day.
Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra.
The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
Process / Procedure
First and foremost devotees need to place idols of Goddess Lakshmi, Ganesha on a wooden platform. They all need to face west and Lakshmi’s idol needs to be on Ganesha’s right. The Kalash needs to be filled with rice and placed in front of Goddess Lakshmi signifying her to be the supreme Goddess of all riches. The coconut is then wrapped in a red cloth and placed above the kalash.
Two earthen lamps are placed in front of Lakshmi and Ganesha. One is filled with ghee and the other one with oil. Swastik sign is drawn with red powder and devotees sit for puja facing east or north. It is important to chant specific mantra hailing Goddess Lakshmi, “Om Shri Hin, Shrin, Mahalakshamaye Namah.”
2-3 Hours (Includes time for both preparation for Puja and actual Puja.)