Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival of lights, which represents the eternal triumph of light over darkness or the victory of good over evil. Diwali, which literally means row of lights in Hindi, is primarily celebrated in India. This celebration of light is India's most important holiday and marks the start of the New Year.
Like many Indian festivals, Diwali celebrates different traditions and stories. One of the most popular stories celebrated by Diwali is the return of Lord Rama who had been exiled for 14 years. Diyas (lamps) are lit to guide and illuminate Lord Rama's path back to his Kingdom. Diwali also celebrates the Goddess Lakshmi: Hindu goddess of prosperity and wealth. Throughout the festival, daily and nightly rituals differ. Diwali night is a festive occasion where celebrants adorn in jewelry and new clothing to light diyas and fireworks. Diwali celebrations last for five days and take place sometime in October or November.
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Diwali References and Related Siteswww.sacred-texts.com: Canto XIX.: The Birth of the Princes. www.drikpanchang.com: Festivals Dhanteras www.diwalifestival.org: Diwalifestival.org Hinduism.about.com: Festival Holidays Parmarth.org: Diwali Kids National Geographic: Explore Diwali UCLA: Diwali Festival