DEEPAVALI and DIWALI are one and the same. DEEPAVALI is the authentic name as ' Deep' means light and 'Avali' means ' Row of light ' hence Deepavali or ' Row of lights' which is what the festival truly is all about anyway. I guess people got tired of the long word DEEPAVALI and so the colloquial slang DIWALI kicked in and slowly that became the norm - My interpretation purely!
Alright, we are now into the second day of this 5-day long festival. It is known as Choti Diwali in North India and Narakachaturdashi in South India. Choti Diwali, as the name suggests, just means Diwali at a smaller scale. Colorful Rangolis adorn the facade of every home so as to bring in good luck.
Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated to commemorate the death of Narakasura, the demon king. Everyone in the household is required to wake up very early in the morning to take a traditional oil bath. Then the whole family goes to the temple before having an elaborate traditional breakfast. That's the tradition but open to interpretation by one and all as per your convenience - again my interpretation so no one can sue me for speaking against traditions.
Bursting firecrackers was never part of the original tradition as Diwali is a festival of lights but since bursting firecrackers is usually considered a part of any grand celebration, this too became part of the Diwali tradition. But it is high time we stop this tradition as it is the one and the only aspect of the Diwali tradition that contributes to all three kinds of pollution - air, water & land!
Children have started becoming aware of this hazard through the various school projects done for calculating the extent of pollution. Parents & Teachers need to encourage them and stop this practice which anyway has nothing to do with the Diwali tradition. Though bursting crackers is a lot of fun, once we realize the hazards it causes, we should all weigh the merits against the demerits and make a wise decision so that we can lift our children and the coming generations a better cleaner planet - the BEST GIFT we could possibly give!
Let us all make it a GREEN DIWALI from now on, shall we?