Diwali in Maharashtra Pune
In Maharashtra, Diwali starts from Vasubaras which
is the 12th day of the 2nd half of the previous month
that is, Ashwin. This day is celebrated by performing
an Aarti of the cow and its calf- which is a symbol
of love between mother and her baby.
The next day is Dhantrayodashi (tra-3 dashi-10 i.e.
10+3=13th day) or Dhanteras. This day is of special
importance for traders and business people.
The 14th day of Ashwin is Narakchaturdashi. On this
day before sunrise, people wake up and bathe after
rubbing scented oil on their body (they also bathe
using Utna). After this the entire family visits a
temple and offers prayers to their God. After this
visit, everyone feasts on Faral which is a special
Diwali preparation consisting of delectable sweets
such as "karanji", "ladoo", "shankarpale"
and "mithai" as well as some spicy eatables
like "tschakli", "sev" and "chivda".
Then comes Laxmi- poojan. It occurs on Amavasya i.e.
no moon day. The dark night is illuminated by lamps
and at dusk crackers are burst. New account books
are opened after a pooja. The stock exchange performs
a token bidding called Muhurta bidding. Generally
the traders do not make any payments on that day (according
to their belief Laxmi should not be given away but
must come home). In every household, cash, jewellery
and an idol of the goddess Laxmi is worshipped. Friends,
neighbours and relatives are invited over and celebrations
are in full swing. The broom used to clean one's house
is also worshipped as a symbol of laxmi in some places
Pad' is the 1st day of the new month - Kartik in
the Hindu calendar.
Bhaubeej - it is the time where in the bond of love
between a brother and sister is further strengthened
as the sister asks God for her brother/s long and
successful life while she receives presents from her
Homes are cleaned and decorated before Diwali. Offices
perform pooja. Bonuses and holidays are granted to
employees on these auspicious days. People buy property
and gold on these days too. Children bulid replica
forts in memory of the founder of Maratha empire,
Shivaji Maharaj. For children, Fire works, new clothes
and sweets make Deepavali the most eagerly awaited
festival of the year.