Diwali: Festival of Lights: Have a happy and safe Diwali
Diwali: Festival of Lights: Have a happy and safe Diwali

Diwali is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to represent the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians. Diwali 2020 is celebrated on Saturday, November 14 this year. Diwali, also known as Indian festival of lights, celebrated during the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November).

Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that's also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities. For instance, in Jainism, Diwali marks the nirvana, or spiritual awakening, of Lord Mahavira on October 15, 527 B.C.; in Sikhism, it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment. Buddhists in India celebrate Diwali as well.

Indian festivals are all about the celebration of the good over the evil. Deepavali or Diwali commemorates the return of Shri Rama to Ayodhya after annihilating demon-king Ravana. Diwali, which is also known as the festival of lights, is by far the most important festival celebrated in India. It is also a day when people worship the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and Lord Kubera, the treasurer of wealth. One of the five days is also devoted to the worship of Dhanavantri, the God of medicines and Lord Yama, the God of death.

Fascinatingly, each of these Gods and Goddess is closely associated with the festival that symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

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