Dhanteras is also a major shopping day, particularly for gold .Dhanteras starts off the five day festival. Starting days before and through Dhanteras houses and business premises are cleaned renovated and decorated. Women and children decorate entrances with Rangoli creative colourful floor designs both inside and in the walkways of their homes or offices. Boys and men get busy with external lighting arrangements and completing all renovation work in progress. For some, the day celebrates the churning of cosmic ocean of milk between the forces of good and forces of evil; this day marks the birthday of Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and the birthday of Dhanvantari the God of Health and Healing. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas are ritually kept burning all through the nights in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari. Narak Chaturdasi is the second day of festivities and is also called Choti Diwali. Typically, house decoration and colourful floor patterns called rangoli are made on or before Narak Chaturdasi. Special bathing rituals such as a fragrant oil bath are held in some regions followed by minor pujas. Women decorate their hands with henna designs. Families are also busy preparing home made sweets for deepawali. The third day is the main festive day. People wear new clothes or their best outfits as the evening approaches. Then diyas are lit pujas are offered to Lakshmi, and to one or more additional deities depending on the region of India typically Ganesha, Saraswati and Kubera. Lakshmi symbolises wealth and prosperity and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead. After the puja, people go outside and celebrate by lighting up patakhe which means fireworks. The children enjoy sparklers and variety of small fireworks, while adults enjoy playing with ground chakra, Vishnu chakra etc.
Durga Puja is the ceremonial worship of the mother goddess is one of the most important festivals of India. Apart from being a religious festival for the Hindus. It is also an occasion for reunion and rejuvenation, and a celebration of traditional culture and customs. While the rituals entails ten days of fast, feast and worship, the last four days which is Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami are celebrated with much gaiety and grandeur in India and abroad, especially in Bengal, where the ten armed goddess riding the lion is worshipped with great passion and devotion.Read More!