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Diwali


Diwali, also called Deepavali is a major Hindu festival that is very significant in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. Known as the "Festival of Lights," it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional diyas (as illustrated). Fireworks are associated with the festival in many regions of India.

Diwali is the name used by North Indians for the festivals while South Indians call it Deepavali. However, both names literally translated mean the same, which is "row of lights".

Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashwayuja. It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India. Diwali comes exactly twenty days after Dussehra. Hindus, and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships. For Hindus it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the Hindu year. Hindus celebrate Diwali to mark the time when Lord Ram achieved victory beating Ravana. It is also a significant festival for the Sikh faith.

The festival marks the victory of good over evil. The Sanskrit word Deepavali means an array of lights that stands for victory of brightness over darkness. As the knowledge of Sanskrit diminished, the name was popularly modified to Diwali, especially in northern India. In South India, Diwali does not coincide with the beginning of a new year as South Indians follow a different calendar, the Shalivahana calendar.


On the day of Diwali, many wear new clothes, share sweets and snacks and light firecrackers. The North Indian business community usually starts their financial new year on Diwali and new account books are opened on this day.





source:wikipedia






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