The Festival of Lights, a celebration of life, prosperity, and the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. The first day, Dhanvantari Triodasi, honors Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, Good Fortune, and Splendor, and Yama, Lord of Death and the Keeper of the Book of Destiny. The second day, Narak-Chaturdashi, celebrates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon lord, Narkasur. On this day, fierce Kali, the Great and Terrible Mother, is venerated, and she is entreated to grant her children strength. Narak-Chaturdashi also commemorates the birth of Hanuman, the vanara who helped Lord Rama rescue Sita from Ravana, the Rakshasa king. The third day, called Diwali, is wholly devoted to the worship and propitiation of Lakshmi, She Who is as Beautiful as a Lotus. The fourth day, Annakut, is the first day of the lunar New Year. Old accounts are settled, new ventures begin. On the fifth and final day of Diwali, Bhayiduj, sibling love is celebrated.
It is a time to banish ignorance and hate, and to dissolve jealousy. It is a time to renew our spirits through light and understanding, and to ask for blessings of prosperity and joy for the upcoming year.
It is a time where we embrace our friends and forgive our enemies.
Lotus root, mango, tamarind, cardamom, clove, almond milk, cashew, rice flower, coconut, supari, raisins, and incense crafted from aloeswood, red sandalwood, cedar, and spikenard.