Diwali, or Dipawali, is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival name derives from the row (avali) of clay lamps (or deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. The festival marks the victory of good over evil.
Diwali is celebrated in memory of Lord Rama’s victory over the demon King Ravana and his later homecoming to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. People wear colorful clothes throughout the Diwali festival, and enthusiasm is visible over the entire festival. Homes come alive with thousands of brightly lit earthen lamps. Fairs and art festivals are held in the state, a venue for fun and shopping. Other celebrations, such as puja, fireworks, sweets and gifts exchange are similar to the rest of India.
Five Days of Diwali
(Days based on the Lunar Calendar)
First day of Diwali, housewives consider it auspicious to spring clean the home and shop for gold or kitchen utensils.
Second day, people decorate their homes with clay lamps or diyas and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using colored powders or sand.
Third day is the main day of the festival when families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.
Fourth day marks the first day of the new year when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.
Fifth and last day of Diwali, brothers visit their married sisters who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.