Diwali (also Deepavali) is an important and popular festival of people belonging to Hindu religion. This festival is widely celebrated with great happiness at various places of India, Nepal, Mauritius and Srilanka.
The religious significance of this festival varies widely from one region to another. On the occasion of Diwali, people worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights. It is a five day long festival. People decorate their homes, streets, and buildings with decorative lights.
Many people observe the Diwali Festival to celebrate the return of Lord Rama (along with Sita and Lakshmana) back to Ayodhaya after fourteen years. On their return after fourteen years of exile, the people of Ayodhya welcomed Rama by decorating the entire kingdom with lights (diyas, deep). Goddess Sita is the wife of Lord Rama while Lakshmana is his younger brother.
In many places, Hindus consider this day as the beginning of “New Year”.
This is a big occasion for the Hindus. They start their shopping several day before the festival. People wear new dresses and burn crackers with great enthusiasm.