Diwali brings happiness to millions of people - it’s full of colour, fireworks, blessing the wealth and account books, renewing old acquaintances, inviting family members and friends into our homes and spreading goodwill to all around us. People will decorate their homes with traditional Rangoli, patterns, divas, candles, make lots of mouth watering dishes, buy new clothes, jewellery and presents for family and friends.
The festival is over five days, and celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that go with the festival are different in different parts of India. There are sweets, lights and fireworks to celebrate this occasion.
Business people regard it as a favourable day to start a new accounting year because of the festival’s association with the goddess of wealth. Diwali is also used to celebrate a successful harvest.
Diwali is also a Sikh festival. It particularly celebrates the release from prison of the sixth guru, Hargobind Singh in 1619. However Sikhs had celebrated it before that, and the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest place in the Sikh world, was laid on Diwali in 1577.
Jains celebrate the attaining of Moksha (Nirvana, or eternal bliss) by the founder of Jainism, Lord Mahavira. The name of the festival comes from the Sanskrit word dipavali, meaning row of lights.The lamps are lit to help the goddess Lakshmi find her way into people’s homes. They also celebrate the return of Rama and Sita to Rama’s kingdom of Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. Fireworks are also a big part of the Diwali celebrations.