President Pratibha Patil leads the country in celebrating Diwali

November 14th, 2007 - 10:22 am ICT by admin  

President Patil received Diwali greetings from a large number of people at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

Meanwhile, people thronged markets to purchase flowers and garlands for the festivities.

“We perform Puja at home by decorating the idols of Gods and Goddesses with flowers. It is believed that this makes Gods happy and they shower wealth on the devotees,” said Balraj Gupta, a resident in Delhi.

In Bhubaneswar, Sudershan Patnaik, a sculptor, made a sand stricture on Puri beach sending the message for using crackers of low decibel on the festive occasion.

“Children are badly affected by the air and noise pollution caused due to crackers during Diwali. So we want to send a message to the people through our art to keep loud crackers away from children,” said Patnaik.

In Allahabad, people from all walks of life and religion came together at a huge playground to celebrate Diwali, a day before. They made huge figures out of burning candles on the playground and burst crackers.

“The people who participate in this are from every religion and caste. Lawyers, doctors and people whom we don’t even know come here. Some of us only meet once a year. Hindus, Muslims, Christians everybody comes here,” said Mohammad Rustam, a local.

In Amritsar, Diwali celebrations began early morning with a dip in the holy pond at the Golden Temple.

The ritual dates back to 17th century to mark the release of persecuted people.

It was on this day, the Sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargovind after securing the release of 56 royal chieftains imprisoned at a fort in Gwalior city, then under Mughal rule, returned to the holy city to a warm welcome.

It was also on this day, in 1577, that the foundation stone of Golden Temple was laid. Since then, a large number of Sikhs visit the shrine on this day to pay obeisance.

“On this auspicious day locals and people from other villages and cities come here to take a dip in the holy pond and pay obeisance at the temple,” said Jagtar Singh, a devotee.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated to rejoice the legendary return of Lord Ram to his hometown Ayodhya after killing the demon king Ravana symbolising the victory of righteousness over evil. (ANI)

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