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Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Friday, October 16, 2009

harvest ladies

Diwali As Harvest Festival

submitted by Joby George of Ente Keralam on Facebook

Diwali signifies Harvest Festival. As it occurs at the end of a cropping season and has along with the above customs, a few others that reinforce the hypothesis of its having originated as a harvest festival. Every harvest normally spelt prosperity. The celebration was first started in India by farmers after they reaped their harvests. They celebrated with joy and offered praises to God for granting them a good crop.

On the second day of Deepavali, a ritual that is strongly suggestive of the origin of Deepavali as an harvest festival is performed. Worship of the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi and performance of Aarti are a part of the harvest festival. On this day delicacies are prepared from pounded semi-cooked rice called Poha or Pauva. This rice is taken from the fresh harvest available at that time. This custom is prevalent both in rural and urban areas especially in Western India.

In rural areas, Diwali signifies only this aspect. The reason being the fact that Diwali which is celebrated sometime in October/November co-incides with the end of a harvesting season, known as the Kharif season when the fresh crop of rice is available. Therefore, Diwali is also considered by many rural hindus to be the harvest festival when farmers offer prayers, and express their gratitude to the Almighty for the bounty they received from him.


Photo of "Harvest Ladies" by Mike Byford, used with permission. Click into the photo to browse wonderful collections of photos on Indian lifestyle and culture.


Video - Havest in Kerala and Scenes of the Village


Other posts on Alaivani about Diwali

Story of Diwali Diwali Harvest

This article was inspired partially by e-mail stories friends have sent me over the years and from other internet research I have done. It's not only Diwali that fascinates me like this, but the fact that the same holidays are celebrated in different parts of India, but expressed so differently from state to state and region to region.

               Day 1: Dhanteras
               Day 2: Nakra Chaturdashi
               Day 3: Lakshmi Puja 
               Day 4: Padwa or Varshapratipada    
               Day 5: Bhayya Dhuj   


Paddy Harvest in Tamil Nadu


Diwali and other select Hindu Holidays in 2010  

President Obama and the White House wish Happy Diwali

Diwali Dates- Mark Your Calendars!
2011 - October 26 |  2012 November 13  |   2013 November 3  |  2014 October 23  |  2015 November 11  |  2016 October 30  |  2017 October 19  |  2018 November 7  |  2019 October 27  |  2020 November 14  |  2021 November 4  |  2022 October 24  |  2023 November 12


Thank you for reading and spending your time on Alaivani.com.

Diwali Celebrations 2001 in India: How to Celebrate Diwali like a local in Six Easy Steps!

Onam and Diwali: A Mysterious Connection

When a friend sent me a story about Onam legends and myths, something in that story reminded me of aspects of the Story of Diwali  article above. It is quite interesting that the same story some in India use to celebrate Diwali is used in a very similiar way but to explain Onam. It so intrigued me, I wrote this article on it.

Search Alaivani for all articles on Diwali

Copyright ©2009 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


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