Diwali, also known as Deepawali is the “Festival of Lights”. It is a Hindu festival with a vital significance and historical importance. It is celebrated in almost all the States of India by all the communities, religions and groups. Diwali is being celebrated on the darkest night of New Moon in the month of Kartika as per Hindu Lunisolar calendar. According to Gregorian calendar, the festival falls between the month of mid-October and mid-November. This year, it will be celebrated on 30th October 2016, Sunday.
Apart from India, this major festival is being celebrated in many other countries as well that includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Myanmar, Trinidad, Guyana, Tubago, Malaysia, Fiji and Singapore. The festival is marked as an official holiday in these countries. Due to presence of large number of Indians in the Western as well as Asia Pacific countries, the festival is largely celebrated in the regions of Australia, USA, New Zealand and Canada.
It is a ritual to clean up homes, renovate and decorate them before Diwali. It is the most profit earning festival for small to large scale business owners as people use to shop a lot on the occasion of Diwali. People use to visit their loved ones and exchange gifts, sweets and of course happiness. A blend of huge discounts as well as heavy taxes on the products can be seen during the month of Diwali.
Many believe that Diwali is being celebrated to honour Lord Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, when they returned from 14 years exile. While some believe that the festival signifies the return of Pandavas after completing 12 years Vanvas and a year of Agyatavas. In real, Diwali is celebrated to welcome the Goddess of Wealth & Prosperity, Lakshmi who is the wife of God Vishnu.
Diwali is celebrated in Sikhs as a significant day, named as Bandi Chhor Diwas. On the respective occasion, Guru Har Gobind freed himself along with some Hindu Kings from the prison of Jahangir, the Mughal emperor and arrived at famous spiritual religious destination, Sri Harmandir Sahib or the Golden temple based in Amritsar. The festival symbolizes love, affection and happiness in our lives. The houses are enlightened using Diyas and decorative lights. Diwali is a festival that brings the feel of happiness and prosperity among people of all customs, religions, communities and geographical diversities.