/Diwali or Deepawali – The festival of lights

Diwali or Deepawali – The festival of lights

Diwali, often referred to as Deepavali by few groups of the Indian society is the festival of lights. It is the biggest and the brightest festival of the country that signifies the victory of light over darkness. The word dipavali has its origin in Sanskrit, and means a “row” or “series of lights”.

It is celebrated and lived as one of the happiest holidays in the country where people participate extensively in cleaning and decorating their households as well as commercial abodes. A lot of Indians mark Diwali for the return of Lord Rama, his wife SIta and his brother Lakshman after an exile of 14 years as told in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Another group celebrates it in the honour of the return of Pandavas after 12 years of vanvas as told in another hindu epic, Mahabharata. Many Indians worship goddess Lakshmi , wife of Lord Vishnu and goddess of wealth and prosperity, on this festive day. Along with Lakshmi, devotees also worship Lord Ganesha who symbolizes ethical beginnings and fearless removal of obstacles. Hindus, staying in or belonging to the Eastern region, worship goddess Kali instead of Lakshmi.

Diwali is celebrated in the end of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin and start of Kartika- centering on the new moon- the darkest night. People celebrate the festival of lights by lighting up their respective abodes with diyas (earthern lamps) and lights of any sort. The women of the house usually make rangolis at the entrance of the house and decorate the house in favour of the festival. The night observes various fireworks and exchange of sweets along with gifts after an often performed puja. The festival is also known to make a contribution to peace, kindness and charitable; as is followed by the Hinsu, jain, Sikh communities in their own respective ways. Even the India forces along the border approach the Pakistani forces and offer sweets to them on this auspicious day.

Diwali is an important festival celebrated by Indians across the globe.