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Diwali is celebrated all over the world with great joy and enthusiasm. It is a five-day festival falling in the months of October-November. People adorn themselves with new clothes and exchange gifts with friends, relatives and family members. On this festival, Goddess Lakshmi along with Lord Ganesha is worshipped and crackers are burst. There are several legends associated with the festival and all legends give the message of victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
Legend of Lord Rama
In north India, Diwali is the day when King Rama\'s coronation was celebrated in Ayodhya after his war with Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. The cities and far-flung areas of the kingdom were lit up with rows of lamps to welcome Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana after 14 years of exile.
Legend of Lord Krishna
According to this legend Narakasura was a demon who ruled the kingdom of Pragjothishyapur. He was the son of the Goddess Earth and Lord Vishnu in his Varaha Avatar. He created havoc during the rituals of sages and disturbed their penance. He usurped all the kingdoms on earth and also conquered the Swargaloka. Indra could not withstand him and fled to heaven. The demon also stole the earring of Aditi, the mother of Lord Indra and usurped her territory and kidnapped 16,000 women. Narkasura was also a devotee of Lord Brahma. He pleased Brahma with his meditation and was granted a boon that no one could kill him except Goddess Earth.
Lord Indra along with other Gods approached Lord Vishnu and pleaded him to protect them from the demon Narakasura. Lord Vishnu assured them that he would destroy Narakasura in his avtar as Krishna. When Satyabhama heard of the ill-treatment of Aditi from Narakasura, she was enraged. She approached Lord Krishna to seek permission to wage war against Narakasura. Narakasura was given a boon that he would be killed only by Goddess Earth - he was killed by Satyabhama, an incarnation of Goddess Earth. Narkasura was given a boon from Satyabhama that everyone would celebrate his death and hence the day is celebrated as 'Naraka Chaturdashi.'
Legend of Goddess Lakshmi
There are two legends associated with Goddess Lakshmi. According to first legend Goddess Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagar, the Ocean of Milk, during the churning of the ocean. She brought wealth and prosperity for the welfare of mankind. The Goddess was incarnated on the new moon day of the Kartik month. The second legend relates to the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu, the incarnation assumed by Vishnu to kill Bali. It is believed that on the day of Diwali Vishnu came back to Vaikuntha so Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped to be blessed with prosperity and material well being.
Legend of Pandavas
According to ‘Mahabharata\', Pandavas returned from their 12 years of banishment on 'Kartik Amavashya.' The banishment was given to the pandavas as they were defeated by the Kauravas in the dice game through cheating. People celebrated the return of Pandavas by lighting the earthen lamps.
Diwali in Rural Areas
In rural areas, Diwali signifies the end of the Harvest season. Farmers celebrate the festival with joy after reaping their harvests. Farmers pray for the good harvest for the next year and thank God for the good crops.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/gifts-articles/diwali-legends-6788265.htmlAbout the Author
Seema Agrawal is the author of the article on Diwali Gifts. Her field of interest is Indian festivals and gift ideas. Diwali gifts have designed a wide range of gifts for Diwali for various locations within India and abroad.