Govardhan Puja
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Deepawali Celebrations in North India


            Deepawali means an row of diyas. The festival is celebrated for 5 days.

1. Dhanetras (Dhanatrayodashi) is the Ist day. People buy utensils, silver, gold on this day.
2. Narakachaturdashi or choti diwali which is also known as Kalichoudas or Bali Pratipada is the second day.
3. Laxmi Puja, Diwali is main festival.
4. Govardhan Puja is on the 4th day in North India
5. Bhaiyadooj is the fifth day .
Day One-Dhanetras:
            OnDhanteras the peopl buy metal - steel, gold and silver vessels, ornaments, etc., on Dhanetras. It is the day of God Kuber and auspicious/holy to buy tangible goods -utensils, silver coin.

Day Two-Narakachaturdashi:
            On Narakachaturdashi, people in North India take oil bath in the morning.

Day Three-Lakshmi Pujan:
            The actual festival of Deepawali on the evening of the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Kartik. The celebration starts with the performance of a puja to Goddess Lakshmi late in the evening at about 7:30 pm after Chaturdashi Tithi is over and Amavasya starts. On this day people offer sweets and snacks (specially prepared or purchased) to the goddess Lakshmi during the Puja. Even the new dresses are kept in the puja room and after invoking the blessings of the Almighty, the eldest member of the family distributes the clothes to others who accept them and offer respects to the elders. Earthen lamps (diyas) are lighted and kept in rows on the compound walls, terrace walls, etc. These are nowadays supplemented by electric (serial) lamps or candles.
            In the evening all the members of the family come out in the open and start bursting crackers for about an hour or so until the stock lasts. Then they take sweets, eat sumptuous food and greet their relatives, neighbours, and friends. Exchanging of sweets and gifts is an indispensable part of Diwali.

Day Four-Govardhan Puja:
            The fourth day of Deepawaliis devoted to Govardhan Puja(worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat). The story behind this day is that Lord Shri Krishna once performed the Govardhan Puja along with the people of Vraja for their protection from heavy rains. Since then, it has become a tradition for the Hindus to worship Govardhan Parvat to honour that first Puja performed by Lord Krishna on this day.

Day Five-Bhaiyadooj:
            On Bhaiyadooj (Feast to brothers), women generally give gifts to their brothers. On this day, brothers and their families are invited for lunch. With a lot of rejoicing and gaiety, Bhaiyadooj marks the end of Deepawalicelebrations.