South Indians have oil bath on Diwali

Chennai, Oct 26 (ANI): Residents of the state heralded the festival of Diwali by offering traditional prayers and firecrackers.

Just prior to the dawn families observing the old traditions had oil bath before putting on new clothes.

Many locals term this oil bath at par with taking holy dip in sacred river Ganga whereas the essence of this ritual is to lend the human body to counter effects of ensuing winter.

"Deepavali for me is getting up early and then taking a Ganga Snanam, having breakfast, going to temple and then celebrating by passing wishes to all the friends," said Sanjay Narang, a local.

As per Hindu scriptures, Deepavali marks the victory of virtue over evil as depicted in Hindu scriptures or Puranas. One of these pertains to Lord Vishnu eliminating Narakasura, the demon with his Sudarashan Chakra.

Among north Indians, Deepavali is the day when Lord Rama with his wife Sita and brother Laxmana returned to Ayodhya on completion of 14 years in exile.

However, almost all Hindus celebrate this festival in honour of Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that Lakshmi, signifying prosperity and comes into those homes that are clean and well lit.(ANI)