HINDU FASTS & FESTIVALS : 2-2.
2. Deepavali : 2.
In South India people take an oil bath in the morning and wear new clothes.
They partake of sweetmeats. They light fireworks which are regarded as the effigies of Narakasura who was killed on this day.
They greet one another, asking, “Have you had your Ganges bath?” which actually refers to the oil bath that morning as it is regarded as purifying as a bath in the holy Ganges.
Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others.
There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere.
This festival brings about unity.
It instils charity in the hearts of people.
Everyone buys new clothes for the family.
Employers, too, purchase new clothes for their employees.
Waking up during the Brahmamuhurta (at 4a.m.) is a great blessing from the standpoint of health, ethical discipline, efficiency in work and spiritual advancement.
It is on Deepavali that everyone wakes up early in the morning.
The sages who instituted this custom must have cherished the hope that their descendents would realise its benefits and make it a regular habit in their lives.
To be continued ....