Diwali: Festival of Lights
Diwali, also known as Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights which is one of the major festivals of Hinduism. It falls on the New Moon night (Amavasya) in the Hindu month of Kartika. Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped on this day in a Puja known as Deepavali Puja or Lakshmi Ganesh Pujan.
The festival is celebrated for a five days period. It starts with Dhanteras, followed by Choti Diwali on second day, Diwali on the third day, Govardhan Puja on the fourth day and finally Bhai Dooj on the fifth day. The Diwali time period is also a major shopping time period in the country. The festival of Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. On the occasion of Diwali, people clean, and decorate their homes and offices. Hanging Ashoka leaves and marigold flowers on the doors of homes and offices is also considered very auspicious. The celebration of Diwali includes lighting lights and diyas (earthen lamps) outside and inside the houses. On the night of Diwali, people dress up in new clothes, perform Lakshmi Puja, burst crackers and visit relatives and friends.