Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals and is celebrated on a grand scale in the state of Goa. This year, the festival of Diwali is a curtain raiser as it coincides with the commencement of the tourism season. Goa is gearing up for Diwali and preparations have started with excitement and zeal across the state.
In Goa, this festival of lights has a unique significance as the Goans celebrate Narka chaturdashi on the eve of Diwali. The Narkasur legend of Diwali is well known and is the reason for the Diwali celebrations in Goa.
Legend has it that the demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna and the good defeated the evil. Narakasura had terrorized the locals, killed citizens of the town and exploited them. The day when Krishna came to the rescue of these people falls a day before Lakshmi Puja. Goans celebrate Diwali mainly on Naraka Chaturdashi. This marked the end of darkness and the beginning of light.
Here the people make huge effigies and parade them in processions and are later burnt at dawn amidst a lot of firework display marking the beginning of the festival of Diwali. Narkasur competitions are also held in the major cities of Goa.
The locals celebrate Diwali to signify light triumphing over darkness. This day is celebrated by distributing various sweets & gifts, and locals decorate their houses with bright lights, which bring good luck and happiness.