Yamadeepdaan is the first day of Diwali
, the festival of lights. This day is dedicated to Lord Yama
. The event commemorates a special event in Hindu mythology in which women saves their husbands from the clutches of death.
According to mythology, a king named Hima had a son who was doomed to die on the fourth day after his marriage. The prince’s wife, coming to know of the prediction, lit many oil lamps near the entrance of their room. She laid down all her ornaments along with lots of gold and silver coins. She kept singing songs and narrating stories in order to prevent her husband from sleeping. Lord Yama, who arrived to take away the soul of the prince, got dazzled by the multitude of oil lamps and ornaments. He got attracted to the melodious songs sung by the prince’s wife. The whole night he kept listening to the songs and he forgot to take the prince’s soul. He left the room empty handed, thus leaving the prince alive.
Hindus celebrate this day by lighting oil lamps throughout the night. Thirteen lamps are made from wet wheat flour and lit outside the home. The wicks of the lamps are placed in the south direction, which is where the lord is believed to reside. Special prayers are offered to Lord Yama to prevent death. This day is also celebrated in some parts of India by the name Dhanteras.