Diwali festival is a 5 day Hindu festival in India which usually celebrated in October or November and lasts five days. Diwali when translated means "rows of lighted lamps" and the occasion is also referred to as the Festival of Lights.
During Diwali, Indian homes are cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Laksmi, the goddess of wealth. Lamps, lights and candles are lit as a greeting to Goddess Laksmi.
Gifts are exchanged and sweets, festive meals are prepared during Diwali. Because there are many states and regions in India, there are countless sign of the Diwali festival.
In some places, the festival begins with Dhanteras, a day set aside to worship Laksmi. In the Indian culture, wealth is not viewed as a corruptive power. Instead, a wealthy person is considered to have been rewarded for good deeds of a past life, i.e. karma.
On the second day of the festival, Kali, the goddess of Strength, is worshipped.
On the 3rd day (the last day of the year in the lunar calendar), lamps are lighted and shine brightly in homes. The lamp symbolizes knowledge.
The fourth day of Diwali falls on the first day of the lunar New Year. At this time, old business accounts are settled and new books are opened. The books are worshipped in a special ceremony by Indian priests and participants are encouraged to remove anger, hate, and jealousy from their lives.
Bhaiya dhuj which is celebrated on fifth day glorifies love between a brother and a sister.
Diwali celebrates The Hindu God Rama’s homecoming that is his return to his hometown Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana and his coronation as the king. The legend related to the festival is that of King Dashratha’s three wives namely Kaushalaya, Keykayee and Sumitra and his four sons Rama, Bharat, Laxmana and Shatrughan. Rama was the son of Kaushalaya and Bharat was the son of Keykayee; Keykayee wanted Bharat to be the next King of Ayodhya, while King Dasharatha wanted Rama his eldest and wisest son to be the...