, also called Deepavali
(Sanskrit: दीपावली, Telugu:దీపావళి,Tamil: தீபாவளி Kannada:ದೀಪಾವಳಿ Sinhala:ද්ර්පවාලි) is a major Hindu festival. Known as the "Festival of Lights," it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. The festival of Diwali is rooted in the mythological epic Ramayana, and is a celebration of the return of Lord Ram after killing Ravan the demon during his exile for 14 years. The day that Ravana was slain is celebrated as Dussehra (19 to 21 days before Diwali). Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional diyas (as illustrated). Fireworks are associated with the festival in many regions of India.Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days in the Hindu month of Ashwayuja. It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships. For Jains it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the Jain year. Jains celebrate Diwali because Lord Mahavira achieved Moksha. It is also a significant festival for theSikh faith.
The word "Diwali" is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali. This is a compound of two words "Deepa" and "Avali". Deepa means light and Avali means row or line. Thus the literal meaning of the word is 'line of lights'.
The Five days of DiwaliDiwali is celebrated over five days in most of North India. All the days except Diwali are named using the designation in the Indian calendar. A lunar half-month is 15 days. Diwali as a new-moon day, marks the last day of a 15-day period. Diwali has emerged as one of the most famous Hindu festivals. An integral part of Diwali decorations, Rangoli is a colorful pattern drawn on the floor. Diwali being festival of colors, across india people celebrate it via symbolic diya's or Kandil ( colorful paper lanterns) as an integral part of Diwali decorationsDhan-trayodashi
or Dhan teras
: Dhan means "wealth" and Trayodashi means "13th day". Thus, as the name implies, this day falls on the 13th day of the first half of the lunar month.
It is an auspicious day for shopping. (Gujarati: Dhan Teras) Naraka Chaturdasi
means 'of a new era of Light and Knowledge'. Chaturdasi
implies fourteenth day. (Gujarati: Kali Chaudas) Diwali
: the actual day of Diwali, is celebrated on the third day of the festival, when the moon completely wanes and total darkness sets in the night sky. Varsha-pratipada
: Beginning of the New Year (Kartikadi Vikram). Pratipada means the first. (Gujarati: Bestu Varas) Bhayiduj
(also Bhayyaduj, Bhaubeej or Bhayitika) -- on this day, brothers and sisters meet to express their love and affection for each other. (Gujarati: Bhai Bij, Bengali: Bhai Phota) The celebrations vary in different regions:In Southern India, naraka chaturdashii
is the main day, with firecrackers at dawn. The main festival is on Amavasya
evening with Lakshmi Puja
which is followed by lighting of oil lamps around the house.
Economics of Diwali A typical household celebrates Diwali with fireworks.Diwali is an annual stimulus for the Indian economy. Indians purchase gold, gifts, decorations, crackers (fireworks) and household appliances during this festival and many Indian films (Bollywood, Kollywood, etc.) are released during this period. Companies offer huge discounts during the Diwali season to attract customers, which helps the economy and also helps the poor. Food distributed as acts of charity during community festivities also helps the underprivileged. Diwali also brings tourists to the country. Also, schools in India are closed during this festival, and many young people have the free time and the money to spend on luxury items.