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Diwali 2023: The Date, Time, Muhurat, and Significance of the Six-Day Festival of Lights

Diwali 2023: Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by Hindus worldwide. This festival of lights typically spans over six days, each day holding its unique significance and rituals. Here’s a detailed description of each of the six days of Diwali/Deepavali

Day 1

Govatsa Dwadashi Puja Time

Govatsa Dwadashi on Thursday, November 9, 2023

Pradoshkala Govatsa Dwadashi Muhurat – 05:56 PM to 08:26 PM

Dwadashi Starts – 10:41 AM on Nov 09, 2023

Dwadashi Ends – 12:35 PM on Nov 10, 2023

Govatsa Dwadashi | Vasu Baras Govatsa Dwadashi is celebrated on the day preceding Dhanteras. On Govatsa Dwadashi, cows and calves are venerated, and offerings of wheat products are made to them after the worship. Those observing Govatsa Dwadashi traditionally refrain from consuming wheat and milk products throughout the day. This day is also recognized as Nandini Vrat, honoring Nandini, the sacred cow in Hinduism.

In the state of Maharashtra, Govatsa Dwadashi is known as Vasu Baras and marks the initiation of the Deepavali festival.

Day 2

Dhanteras Puja, Dhantrayodashi Puja,Dhanvantri Trayodashi,Yama Deepam

Dhanteras Puja on Friday, November 10, 2023

Dhanteras Puja Muhurat – 06:15 PM to 08:16 PM

Dhanvantari Puja on Friday, November 10, 2023

Dhanvantari Puja Muhurat – 06:27 AM to 08:45 AM

Yama Deepam on Friday, November 10, 2023

Pradosh Kaal – 05:55 PM to 08:26 PM

Vrishabha Kaal – 06:15 PM to 08:16 PM

Trayodashi Starts- 12:35 PM on Nov 10, 2023

Trayodash Ends – 01:57 PM on Nov 11, 2023

Dhantrayodashi, also known as Dhanteras, heralds the commencement of the five-day Diwali celebrations. This auspicious day is marked by the emergence of Goddess Lakshmi from the churning of the Milky Sea. As a result, both Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera, the God of wealth, are revered on Trayodashi. However, it is worth noting that the main Lakshmi Puja is reserved for Amavasya, which occurs two days after Dhantrayodashi.

To perform Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi, it is recommended to observe the Pradosh Kaal, which begins after sunset and typically lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes.

During this time, Yamadeep, another ritual observed on Trayodashi Tithi, involves lighting lamps outside the home to ward off any untimely deaths within the family.Dhanvantari Trayodashi is observed two days before Diwali Puja, specifically on the Trayodashi Tithi of Krishna Paksha. This day commemorates the birth of Lord Dhanvantari, known as the father of Ayurveda and the physician of the Gods. According to legends, during the churning of the milky ocean, Dhanvantari emerged bearing the nectar pot on this very day.. On this day, people offer prayers to Lord Dhanvantari, seeking good health and well-being.

On Trayodashi Tithi during Diwali, a lamp is lit outside the home for the God of death, Yamaraj, in a ritual known as Deepdan for Yamraj. This ceremonial act is performed during the Sandhya period. It is believed that lighting the Deepak (lamp) pleases Lord Yama, and as a result, He safeguards family members from untimely and accidental deaths.

Day 3

Kali Chaudas Puja,Hanuman Puja

Deepavali-Hanuman Puja is on Saturday, November 11, 2023

Deepavali Hanuman Puja Muhurat – 11:46 PM to 12:37 AM, Nov 12

Kali Chaudas on Saturday, November 11, 2023

Chaturdashi Tithi Starts – 01:57 PM on Nov 11, 2023

Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 02:44 PM on Nov 12, 2023

Kali Chaudas, also known as Bhut Chaturdashi, is primarily observed in Western states, especially Gujarat. It falls on the Chaturdashi Tithi during the Diwali festivities. However, it’s important to distinguish Kali Chaudas from Roop Chaudas and Narak Chaturdashi, as it may occur one day before Narak Chaturdashi. The day of Kali Chaudas is determined by the presence of Chaturdashi during midnight, known as Maha Nishita time in the Panchang.

Rituals associated with Kali Chaudas involve visiting the crematorium during midnight to offer prayers to the Goddess of darkness and to Veer Vetal. 

A day before Diwali Puja, Hanuman Puja is observed in certain parts of India, particularly in Gujarat. This day coincides with Kali Chaudas. It is believed that malevolent spirits are most active during the night of Kali Chaudas. To seek strength, power, and protection from all forms of malevolent spirits, Lord Hanuman, who provides the strength to combat such entities, is worshipped.

According to another legend, Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after vanquishing the demon Ravana and completing His fourteen-year exile. Lord Rama was so pleased with Hanuman’s unwavering devotion and dedication that He blessed Hanuman to be worshipped before Him. Hence, people honor God Hanuman a day prior to Diwali celebrations.

Day 4

Abhyang Snan on Narak Chaturdashi

Narak Chaturdashi on Sunday, November 12, 2023

Abhyang Snan Muhurat – 05:20 AM to 06:28 AM

The Six-day Diwali festival commences on Dhantrayodashi and concludes on Bhaiya Dooj day. Abhyang Snan, or ritual oil bath, is recommended on three specific days during Diwali: Chaturdashi, Amavasya, and Pratipada.

The Abhyang Snan on Chaturdashi, popularly known as Narak Chaturdashi, holds the most significance. It is believed that individuals who perform Abhyang Snan on this day can escape the realm of Narak (hell). During this ritual, sesame oil is traditionally used for the Ubtan (an herbal paste applied before a bath).

Narak Chaturdashi is also known by other names such as Choti Diwali, Roop Chaturdashi, and Roop Chaudas. 

Lakshmi Puja | Diwali Puja

Pradosh Kaal Muhurat

Goddess Lakshmi Puja on Sunday, November 12, 2023

Goddess Lakshmi Puja Muhurat – 06:07 PM to 08:08 PM

Pradosh Kaal Muhurat – 05:55 PM to 08:26 PM

Vrishabha Kaal Muhurat – 06:07 PM to 08:08 PM

Lakshmi Puja Vrat and Rituals

On the day of Diwali, it is customary to wake up early in the morning, pay homage to one’s ancestors, and worship family deities. As it is Amavasya, people also perform Shradh to honor their forebears. Traditionally, many Pujas are conducted after observing a day-long fast. Devotees of Goddess Lakshmi usually fast throughout the day and break their fast after the evening Lakshmi Puja.

Lakshmi Puja Preparations

In most Hindu households, homes and offices are adorned with marigold flowers, Ashoka leaves, mango leaves, and banana leaves on the day of Lakshmi Puja. It is considered auspicious to place Mangalik Kalash, often adorned with unpeeled coconuts, on both sides of the main entrance of the home.

To prepare for Lakshmi Puja, a red cloth should be placed on the right-hand side on a raised platform, and idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha should be installed upon it, adorned with silk clothing and jewelry. Next, a white cloth should be placed on the left-hand side on a raised platform for the installation of Navgraha deities. Nine slots of Akshata (unbroken rice) should be prepared for the Navgraha deities on the white cloth, while sixteen slots of wheat or wheat flour should be prepared on the red cloth.

Lakshmi Puja should be performed with all the rituals as described in the Lakshmi Puja Vidhi.

Lakshmi Puja Muhurat

On Diwali, Lakshmi Puja is traditionally conducted during the Pradosh Kaal, which starts after sunset and lasts for approximately 2 hours and 24 minutes. 

It is not advisable to choose Choghadiya Muhurat for performing Lakshmi Puja, as these Muhurtas are more suited for traveling. The ideal time for Lakshmi Puja is during Pradosh Kaal when Sthir Lagna (a stable and fixed time) prevails. Vrishabha Lagna is considered a Sthir Lagna and generally overlaps with the Pradosh Kaal during the Diwali festivities.

Many communities, particularly Gujarati businessmen, also conduct Chopda Pujan during Diwali Puja. Chopda Pujan involves inaugurating new account books in the presence of Goddess Lakshmi to seek her blessings for the upcoming financial year. Diwali Puja is also called as Deepavali Puja.

Diwali Chopda Puja

Choghadiya Puja Muhurat

Choghadiya Muhurat for Diwali Lakshmi Puja

Afternoon Muhurat- 02:44 PM to 03:03 PM

Evening Muhurat – 05:55 PM to 10:38 PM

Night Muhurat- 01:46 AM to 03:20 AM, Nov 13

Early Morning Muhurat – 04:54 AM to 06:28 AM, Nov 13

Lakshmi Puja during Diwali is more commonly known as Chopda Puja in Gujarat. The Gujarati community is renowned for its entrepreneurial skills, and family businesses are often passed down through generations. Even in the modern era, family businesses uphold these traditions, aligning important business events with auspicious timings. Chopda Puja is a religious tradition where successful businesses seek the blessings of deities for a prosperous and profitable year ahead.

In Gujarat, traditional accounting books are referred to as “Chopda.” In today’s digital age, many businesses manage their financials using laptops and accounting software. Nevertheless, the significance of Chopda Puja remains intact, as business owners now use their laptops as symbolic representations of the traditional Chopda, which is worshipped in the presence of deities. In contemporary times, symbols such as Swastika, Om, and Shubh-Labh are often drawn atop the laptop instead of the traditional Chopda.

In Gujarat, the prevalent practice is to follow Choghadiya Muhurat, which is considered auspicious for performing Chopda Puja during Diwali. People tend to favor these auspicious Choghadiya timings on Diwali day. Choghadiya Muhurat provides favorable time slots for various activities and rituals, including Chopda Puja, and is available both during the day and night.

Diwali Sharda Puja

Diwali Puja is also known as Sharda Puja and Chopda Puja in Gujarat. Sharda Puja is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, who is often associated with wisdom, knowledge, and learning.

While Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity, takes center stage during Diwali Puja, Goddess Sharda and Lord Ganesha are equally honored. Traditionally, all three deities are worshipped during Diwali Puja, and this is reflected in various wall posters, calendars, and clay statues available in the market.

In Hinduism, it is believed that wealth, without wisdom and knowledge, cannot be sustained. While Goddess Lakshmi bestows prosperity and wealth, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Sharda represent wisdom and knowledge, respectively. Hence, most Hindu families worship Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesha alongside Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali Puja. The day of Sharda Puja holds special significance for students who seek the blessings of Goddess Sharda for success in their studies.

In addition to students, Sharda Puja is also important for business families who maintain their account books. In Gujarat, traditional account books are known as “Chopda,” and new ones are inaugurated during Sharda Puja in the presence of Goddess Sharda, Goddess Lakshmi, and Lord Ganesha. It is believed that the blessings of all three deities are essential for the growth and success of any business. 

Kedar Gauri Vrat

Kedar Gauri Vrat Muhurat

Kedar Gauri Vrat on Sunday, November 12, 2023

Amavasya Starts – 02:44 PM on Nov 12, 2023

Amavasya Ends – 02:56 PM on Nov 13, 2023

Kedar Gauri Vrat is primarily observed in the southern Indian states, particularly in Tamil Nadu. It is also known as Kedara Vratham and falls on the day of Deepavali Amavasya, coinciding with Lakshmi Puja during Diwali.

While some families undertake a 21-day observance of Kedara Gauri Vrat, culminating on Deepavali Amavasya, most people observe a single-day fast on Kedar Gauri Vrat. This day is particularly important for devotees of Lord Shiva.

The Legend of Kedara Gauri Vrat

The legend of Kedara Gauri Vrat is rooted in the story of Bhringi Rishi, a devoted worshiper of Lord Shiva. However, the sage’s unwavering devotion was directed solely towards Lord Shiva, and he ignored the presence of Lord Shiva’s consort, Goddess Shakti.

This disregard for Goddess Shakti’s presence perturbed her, and she decided to withdraw her energy from sage Bhringi’s body. This energy was none other than Goddess Gauri herself. Determined to reunite with Lord Shiva, Goddess Gauri observed the Kedara Vrat to seek His blessings.

The intense austerities of Goddess Gauri were so pleasing to Lord Shiva that He granted her wish, giving her a place on the left side of His body. The resulting divine form of Lord Shiva, united with Goddess Gauri, became known as Ardhanarishvara, symbolizing the harmonious union of male and female energies.

As the goddess herself observed this fasting to please Lord Shiva, the Vrat is aptly named Kedara Gauri Vrat.

Kali Puja | Shyama Puja

Kali Puja Muhurat

Kali Puja on Sunday, November 12, 2023

Kali Puja Nishita Time – 11:47 PM to 12:37 AM, Nov 13

Kali Puja is a Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Kali and is celebrated on the new moon day during the Diwali festivities. While most of India worships Goddess Lakshmi on Amavasya during Diwali, West Bengal, Orissa, and Assam give prominence to the worship of Goddess Kali on the most important day of Diwali.

In most years, Diwali Puja and Kali Puja fall on the same day. However, in some instances, Kali Puja may occur one day before Diwali Puja. For Kali Puja, the day when Amavasya prevails during midnight is considered, whereas for Lakshmi Puja, the day when Amavasya prevails during Pradosh is preferred.

In West Bengal, Orissa, and Assam, the most significant day for worshipping Goddess Lakshmi falls on the full moon day of the lunar month of Ashwin. This day is known as Kojagara Puja, more commonly referred to as Bengal Lakshmi Puja.

Day 5

Amavasya

Day 6

Govardhan Puja Muhurat and Bali Pratipada Muhurat

Govardhan Puja on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Govardhan Puja Pratahkala Muhurat – 06:29 AM to 08:46 AM

Bali Pratipada on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Bali Puja Pratahkala Muhurat – 06:29 AM to 08:46 AM

Typically, Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the day following Diwali Puja and commemorates the day when Lord Krishna defeated Lord Indra. Occasionally, there may be a one-day gap between Diwali and Govardhan Puja. 

Govardhan Puja is also known as Annakut Puja. On this day, a variety of food made from cereals like wheat and rice, as well as curry made from gram flour and leafy vegetables, is prepared and offered to Lord Krishna.

In the state of Maharashtra, this day is celebrated as Bali Pratipada or Bali Padva. It commemorates the victory of Lord Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, over King Bali, and King Bali’s descent to the Patal Lok (the underworld). According to belief, due to a boon granted by Lord Vamana, King Bali visits Prithvi Lok from Patala Lok for three days, blessing his devotees during this time.

In most instances, Govardhan Puja coincides with Gujarati New Year, celebrated on Shukla Paksha Pratipada of the Kartik month. 

Bali Pratipada

Bali Puja, also known as Bali Pratipada, is observed on the first day of Kartik Pratipada, which follows Diwali Puja. Bali Puja coincides with Govardhan Puja. While Govardhan Puja is dedicated to the Govardhan hills and Lord Krishna, Bali Puja is performed to seek the blessings of the Demon King Bali.

Due to a boon granted by Lord Vishnu, Demon King Bali is venerated in India during Diwali. According to legends associated with the Vamana Avatar of Lord Vishnu, Demon King Bali was pushed to Patala (the Nadir) by Lord Vishnu. However, owing to King Bali’s generosity, Lord Vishnu allowed him three days to visit Bhulok (the Earth). It is believed that King Bali resides on Earth for three days and blesses his devotees during this time.

According to religious texts, the image of King Bali, along with his wife Vindhyavali, should be drawn at the center of the home, adorned with five different colors. This five-colored image is worshipped during Bali Puja.

Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj Tika Time

Bhai Dooj on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Bhai Dooj Aparahna Time – 01:20 PM to 03:37 PM

On Bhai Dooj, a beautiful celebration of the bond between siblings takes place. This day, also known as Bhaiya Dooj, holds significant importance, as sisters offer their heartfelt prayers for the long and joyful lives of their brothers. The celebration is marked by the Tika ceremony, where sisters apply a sacred mark on their brothers’ foreheads. In return, brothers express their love and appreciation by presenting gifts to their sisters. Bhai Dooj is also referred to as Bhau Beej, Bhatra Dwitiya, Bhai Dwitiya, and Bhathru Dwithiya. It’s a heartwarming occasion that strengthens the special connection between brothers and sisters.

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