Diwali

Deepawali or Diwali is one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. It also known as 'the festival of lights' (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) that brings a series of festivals with it, beginning on the 15th day of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika (Ashwin). By the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls in October or November.

Diwali is celebrated with the lighting of lamps and candles, and lots of fireworks. People put on new clothes and decorate their home with beautiful tiny diyas and making rangoli pattern in the courtyard and in front of the gate. They put flowers and mango leaves on their doors and windows. Diyas and candles are placed on rooftops, rooms, courtyard and kitchen. On this day, people exchange gifts and sweets with friends, relatives and neighbors.

Diwali is a five-day long festival, each day being significant in its own terms. The celebrations commence on Aswayuja Bahula Chaturdashi and culminate on Kartika Shudha Vijaya. The first day of this festival is called 'Dhan Trayodashi' or 'Dhanteras', wherein people worship Goddess Lakshmi and purchase utensils made of silver. The second day of Diwali is called 'Narak Chaturdashi', which is popular as 'Chhoti Diwali'. The third day of Diwali, which is also called 'Badi Diwali', is the main day of the celebrations of the festival. People perform Lakshmi Puja (worship of divine Goddess Lakshmi) on this day and offer prayers to her, to bless them with wealth and prosperity. The fourth day of Diwali is devoted to Govardhan Pooja (worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat). The fifth day of the Diwali is Bhai Dooj, the time to honor the brother-sister relationship.