Tradition of Gambling
Diwali is not only a big festival, but a grand occasion for people in India to make merry. This ‘festival of lights’ brings along a set of activities and celebrations which are enormously enjoyed by people of all ages. Besides revelling with crackers, enjoying fireworks, gorging at sweets and enjoying gifts, the age-old tradition of gambling also makes this festival special. During this four-day festival, playing cards or gambling is very popular across India.
In some sense, gambling in Diwali is interlinked with the nature of festival, which remains focussed on the creation of wealth. People worship goddess Laxmi (the symbol of wealth) on this day for all-round prosperity and riches. And due to the same orientation, playing cards or gambling is considered lucky, never a vice. After all, when the whole emphasis is to seek the blessings for wealth and prosperity, gambling can’t remain far behind.
Gambling in Diwali is a traditional practice, coming down from ages, as people, royals and monks- they all played this game for fun and enjoyment. Interestingly, a popular maxim says that “one who not gambles on this day is liable to be rebirth in the form of a donkey’! It’s believed that, playing cards on this day tempts the ‘Goddess of Wealth’ to bless the players for more riches in the ensuing days.
Many believe that, gambling on Diwali night keeps the household prosper for the whole year. No matter what people believe, but nobody takes a chance when it comes to invoke the blessings of the Goddess of Wealth (Laxmi). After all, the festival is the only time of the year when people elaborately pray to her for material gains, riches and all-round prosperity.
Furthermore, people gambling on Diwali is linked to a potent legend wherein Goddess Parvati is told to have had played the game of dice with her husband Lord Shiva on the same day. What’s more, the Kailash temple at Ellora bears the testimony to this legend where the gambling scene of the couple is superbly sculpted.
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