Diwali is actually derived from the original name ‘Deepavali’. Deepa in Sanskrit means ‘light’ and ‘avali’ means a row. When literally translated, Deepavali means a ‘row of lights’. As per the Indian calendar it is celebrated on Amavasya (the new moon day) in the end of the month Ashwin, which ushers in the month of Karthik around October/ November every year.
Diwali is celebrated in north India in honor of Rama's return to Ayodhya after he vanquished Ravana. He was also coronated as a king on the same day. It is celebrated twenty days subsequent to Vijayadasami. But in some states it is celebrated for different reasons. For instance, in Gujarat it is an event to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Bengalis worship Goddess Kali on this day. The celebrations are however quite uniform throughout the country.
Crackers are sine qua non for this festival. So more the noise the merrier it is. Homes are lit up for the festival with diyas-small oil lanterns.You have ‘rockets’ which are highly whimsical in the way they veer. They can zip at you from out of the blue making you run for cover!!! Then you have deafening hydrogen bombs which can unnerve you by making your heart skip a beat. But the most pleasing sight, however, is that of little kids holding sparklers gleefully. The fountain like shower of a flower pot is also a spectacle worth a watch. So nylon clothes should not be worn on that day to preempt any hazards. Most of the large organisations in Northern and Western India present their employees and clients a boxful of sweets.
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