Diwali or Dīpāvali means a row of lamps or garland of lights. It is the most colourful Indian festival, celebrated on the Kartika Amavasya or New Moon, which falls during October/November.
Historically, the origin of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India, when it was probably an important harvest . However, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
Some people believe that Diwali is the celebration of the marriage of Goddess Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. Whereas in Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali, the Goddess of strength. Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom, is also worshipped in most Hindu homes on this day.
Deepavali is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness.
Diwali is celebrated as the victory of good over evil - and the glory of light. It is celebrated as the homecoming of Lord Rama after a 14-year exile in the forest and his victory over Ravana. The people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (dĭpa), thus its name: dīpāwali. Diwali is one of the biggest festivals of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India.
The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third days is celebrated as the main Diwali festival or 'Festival of lights'.
Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas and candles all around their house. The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi. People perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth.
The festival of Diwali is never complete without exchange of gifts. People present diwali gifts to all near and dear ones.
Homes are decorated, sweets are distributed by everyone and thousands of lamps lit to create a world of fantasy.
Diwali is a time for fun and revelry. Diwali is also a time for pooja and tradition.
The festival of Diwali is celebrated by the Indians throughout the world with special enthusiasm and zeal.
Diwali is the most popular as well as liked festival in the country as well as abroad. This festival of lights brings along with itself immense enthusiasm and pleasure.
Diwali is the festival, which means celebration one after another, each day with a new philosophy.