Padwa or Balipratipada:
The day after Diwali is celebrated as Padwa or Balipratipada, and it marks the beginning of the VikramSamvat calendar in Western India and is considered the New Year Day in Gujarat. According to Hindu mythology, Bali Padwa commemorates the victory of God Vishnu in his dwarf incarnation Vamana, defeating Bali, and pushing him to the netherworld. The celebrations of the day vary according to regions. A common practice in north India is to play the gambling game called pachikalu (dice game), which is linked to a legend associated with Lord Shiva. North Indians also celebrate the day as Govardhan Puja. In southern India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, people perform Kedargaurivratam (worship of goddess Kedar-Gauri), Gopuja (worship of cow), and Gouramma puja (worship of Gauri). The day also honors the love and mutual devotion between husband and wife, and couples exchange gifts to show their dedication to each other.
Bhai Duj or Bhaiya Dooji
The fifth day of the Diwali is called Bhratri Dooj, dedicated to sisters. We have heard about Raksha Bandhan, brothers day. Well this is sisters day. Many moons ago in the Vedic era, Yamaraja, the Lord of Death, visited His sister Yamuna on this day. He gave Yamuna a boon that whoever visits her on this day shall be liberated from all sins; they will achieve moksha, liberation. From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to inquire about their welfare, and many faithful bathe in the holy waters of the Yamuna River.This day is also known as Bhai Fota among Bengalis, when the sister prays for her brother’s safety, success and well being.This day marks the end of the five days of Diwali celebrations.
In rural areas of India, Diwali, which occurs at the end of a growing season, is a harvest festival. Harvests normally brought prosperity. After reaping their harvest, farmers celebrated with joy and gave thanks to God and the demigods for granting them a good crop.
At the time of the reign of Emperor Prithu, for example, there was a worldwide famine. He ordered that all cultivatable lands be ploughed. When the rains came, the land became very fertile and grains were planted. The harvest provided food not only to feed all of India, but for all civilization at the time. This harvest was close to Diwali time and was a good reason to celebrate Diwali with great joy and merriment by a wider community.
In the Adi Parva of the Mahabarata, the Pandavas also returned from their exile in the forest during Diwali time, giving people another reason for celebration.