Diwali; the festival of light

India is a country of varied heritage in the realm of dance,�music, and�festivals. Over the years it has become a�dwelling�of love and pain, light and�shadows. It�contains diverse heritage features�together, all under one roof.�Diwali�is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in�the�autumn. The festival begins onDhanteras, two days before�Diwali and ends�Bhai�Dooj, two days after�Diwali.

Crackers have always formed a part of the festival, but recent times have seen a decrease in favor of sustainability.
Image: ondasderuido on Flickr

During this�festival �people�usually�clean, renovate, and decorate their houses�and offices�before it. On the days of Diwali, �people�wear�new clothes, light up�diyas�(lamps and candles) inside and outside their house, participate in family�puja�(prayers) to�Lakshmi�� the goddess�of�wealth and light fireworks. They engage in family feasts, sharing�mithai�(sweets), and exchange gifts between family members and close friends.

Diwali is a time to spend with family and close friends, and it is one of the most loved festivities in the country.
Image: Aditya Sahay on Flickr

Depending on the region within India, �mythology, and beliefs, the�spiritual�connotation�of the festival varies. Across the world,�most of people celebrate�Diwali�in�honor of the return of Lord Rama, wife�Sita, brother�Lakshmana�and Lord Hanuman to�Ayodhya�from exile of 14 years after Rama defeated�Ravana. This is done to honor and celebrate Lord Rama,�Sita,�Lakshmana�and Hanuman returning from Sri Lanka and to�enlighten�their path. Villagers light�Diyas�to celebrate the�triumph�of good over evil.

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