Diwali is the biggest and brightest festival of Hindus. Diwali is the abbreviation of the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali’, which means “Row of Lamps”. The main festival is celebrated on ‘Amavasyaa’ of the Hindu month Kartik. It symbolizes the power of light over dark, the success of god over evil, and the exquisiteness of joy & happiness over sorrows.
Diwali is celebrated to signify the return of ‘Lord Ram’ to ‘Ayodhya’ after completing his fourteen years of exile. It is also said that ‘Devi Lakshmi’, the Goddess of Wealth roves the earth on this day and enters the house that is clean and brightly decorated, and showers prosperity and happiness. People celebrate, exchange Diwali gifts, burst crackers and foster deeper bonds with relatives, friends and dear ones.
Diwali is celebrated for five days - It begins on Aswayuja Bahula Chaturdashi and concludes on Kartika Shudha Vijaya. Festival starts with 'Dhan Trayodashi' or 'Dhanteras', which is meant for buying new utensils, silver or gold coins or some other precious metal, as a sign of good luck. The second day is known as 'Narak Chaturdashi', which is popular as ‘Chhoti Diwali’. The third and main day of Diwali, which is also called ‘Badi Diwali’ is a day for Lakshmi Pujan (worship of divine Goddess Lakshmi). On this day people devote their prayers to her to get wealth and prosperity. The fourth day is celebrated as Govardhan Pooja (worship of Govardhan Parvat). The fifth and last of Diwali is Bhai Dooj, a celebration of brother-sister relationship.
In each legend, myth and story, the festival of Diwali underlines the victory of good over immorality- lights that enlighten our homes and hearts with cheerfulness and bliss, and new hope and reasons for enhanced life.