Maharashtra is a state located in the western region of India. It is the second most populous state after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India.
It is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Gujarat and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the northwest, Madhya Pradesh to the north and northeast, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the south, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast and Goa to the southwest.
Mumbai, the capital city of the state, is India’s largest city and the financial capital of the nation. Marathi is the state’s official language.
Other major cities in Maharashtra include – Pune, Nagpur, Nasik, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kolhapur, Solapur, Amravati, Jalgaon, Latur, Nanded, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Satara, Sangali, etc.
Diwali Celebrations in Maharashtra :
As Maharashtra accounts for a major portion of Marathi population, the Celebrations of Diwali are bit different over here. For Maharashtrians Diwali celebrations start on ‘Vasu-baras’ celebrated on ‘Ashwin krushna dwadashi’ as per Marathi calendar i.e., a day prior to Dhanteras. On this day people of this state specially in villages worship cows and its calf.
Just like in other parts of the region, here also, the Diwali festival ends on Bhau-beej also known as Bhaidooj. On this day, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing the Tika ceremony (i.e., making a tikka on their brother’s forehead with kumkum and rice) and brothers give gifts to their sisters.
In between the celebrations of Diwali are somewhat silimar to that followed in other parts of India like perform puja of goddess Lakshmi on Dhanteras Day and then perform Lakshmi Ganesh Puja on Diwali Day.
Just like in other parts of the country, people of Maharashtra celebrate Diwali by drawing colourful Rangoli’s outside their homes to welcome goddess of wealth – Lakshmi, wear new clothes, eat lots of sweets, exchange gifts, wear new clothes, decorate their homes with lights and diya’s, spent time with friends and family members, etc.
In Maharashtra, on Naraka Chaturdashi people perform ‘abhyanga-snaan’.
In Maharashtra, the Day after Diwali is celebrated as Diwali Cha Padva. On this day Maharashtrians wives perform ‘aukshan’ (aarti) of her husband and the husband in turn presents a special gift to his wife.
In Maharashtra, Diwali celebrations come to an end with the Tulsi-Vivah ceremony which is performed any time between Prabodhini Ekadashi – the eleventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Kartik to the full moon of the month (Kartik Poornima) which is known as Dev-Diwali.
In you are in Mumbai, then the best place to see spectacular fireworks display is the Marine Drive area where Mumbaikars illuminate the skies with fireworks display on the queens necklace.