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Diwali, also called Deepavali, is a major Indian festival that is very significant in Hinduism. Known as the "Festival of Lights," it symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind. Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional dīpa or deeya (earthen lamp, as illustrated). Fireworks are associated with the festival. Diwali is a colloquial name used in North India, while the festival is formally called Deepavali in South India.
Diwali is celebrated for three consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashwayuja. It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India. Diwali comes exactly twenty days after Dussehra. Hindus and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships. For Hindus it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the year in some Hindu calendars. There are several beliefs regarding the origin of the holiday. The most repeated version is that Hindus celebrate Diwali to mark the time when Lord Rama achieved victory over Ravana. Some also view it as the day Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura or in honor of the day Bali went to rule the nether-world, obeying the order of Vishnu. It is also a significant festival for the Sikh faith. In India, Diwali is now considered to be more of a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith

Also called         Deepavali, Festival of Lights

Observed by      Religiously by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Other Indians celebrate the cultural aspects. 

Type                 Religious, Indian

Significance       Celebrate life and strengthen relationships

Date                 New moon day of Kartika, although the celebrations begin two days prior and end two days after that date

2007 date         November 9 

Celebrations     Decorating homes with lights, Fireworks, Gift-giving Observances Prayers, Religious rituals (see puja, prasad)