Like many ancient civilizations, the way of life in Bihar is clustered around its magnificent rivers. Few rivers of the world have molded the culture, economy and personality of the people evolving on their banks as has the great river Ganga. In Bihar, the celebration of Diwali starts two days before the actual Diwali as dhanteras, celebrated in honor of Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods. He is believed to have emerged with a pot of amrita during the samudra manthan.
1. Bihar on Dhanteras: On Dhanteras, new kitchen utensils are bought and kept at the place of worship. The buying of utensils, according to one theory, relates to the myth of Dhanvantari emerging from the ocean with a pot in his hand. People bathe early in the morning and observe a fast, which is broken only after sunset with sweetmeals, puri and other delicacies.
2. Choti Diwali and Bihar: The day before Diwali is celebrated as Choti Diwali or ‘small Diwali’. It is Diwali on a smaller scale, with fewer lights lit and fewer crackers burst.
3. The colours of Rangoli: The morning after Choti Diwali, the women of the house make beautiful, colored rangoli in the doorway and courtyard. Tiny footprints made out of rice paste are a special feature of the rangolis made for Diwali. They signify the footprints of Lakshmi, as she enters the house.
4. Folksongs of Bhojpuri on special occasion of Diwali: Songs in honor of the deities are sung and aarti is performed. Oil or ghee diyas are also lit.
5. Special Prasad of Gods: The gods are offered kheel, batashe and khilone and various sweetmeals.
6. Lighening the Globe through Diyas: After the puja, the diyas are placed in and around the house: on the doorway, near the Tulasi plant, in the backyard, in every room and at the back and front gates. After this, crackers are burst, and people meet friends and neighbors to exchange good wishes and sweets.
7. Mithais and Diwali: Mithais are at the core of Diwali celebrations in Bihar
8. Gharondha on Diwali: We have another interesting ritual on the day of Diwali which is that girls make gharonda (model of a house) using clay and mud. Utensils that are also made of mud are filled with all kinds of pulses and cereals. This custom came into being to prove that girls are equivalent to goddess Lakshmi and they are the ones who fill the household with wealth and prosperity. However, gharondas nowadays are made using various fancy materials. Also performing gobar (cow dung) puja is also an important ritual as it is considered to be auspicious.
9. Ritual of putting Kajal in eyes: A big lamp is lit in the puja room and the soot from it is used to put kajal on eyes. Then the aarti is done and eldest member of the family anoints all the members with tikka, while they bow down to him/her to take the blessings
With this, from AaoBihar Team we wish you all a very Happy Diwali!
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