Diwali Festival-India

• Diwali is one of the most significant religious festivals among Hindu community in India.

• The festival is also celebrated by Jains, and Sikhs and Newar Buddhists communities.

• Diwali, which is also known as Deepavali, is also known as the festival of lights.

• The festival has spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.

• At most places Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days.

• The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and ends two days thereafter. The day one is celebrated as Dhantrayodashi. On this day purchase of silver and gold items were done. It marks a major shopping day in India. The second day is celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi, while Lakshmi Puja is celebrated on third day along with the main diwali festival. On fourth day Govardhan Puja is done and Bhaiya Dooj is celebrated on fifth day.

• In Eastern region of India, such as in Odisha, West Bengal and in Assam worship of the goddess Kali done instead of Lakshmi, and is known as the Kali Puja festival.

• The Diwali festival is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama and Sita from 14 years of exile and his victory over the Demon King Ravana.

• This festival is celebrated in the month of Kartika which falls during month of October or November. Before the festival, cleaning and decorating of houses, buying of new clothes and jewelleries were done.

• Rangoli decorations are done in front of doors in every house. At night, buildings are illuminated with earthen lamps, candle-sticks and electric bulbs. On the evening of Diwali, people open their doors and windows to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. People go outside and celebrate by lighting up fireworks. Sweets and gifts are distributed among relatives and friends.

• From last few years, there has been growing concern of the environmental impact during Diwali festival due to air and noise pollution.