Diwali - Festival of Lights

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Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali,[1] popularly known as the "festival of lights", is an important five-day festival in Hinduism,Jainism, and Sikhism, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. Deepavali is an official holiday in India,[2] Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar,Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore,[3] and Fiji. The name "Diwali" is a contraction of "Deepavali" (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into "row of lamps".[4] Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or dīpas) in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. Most Indian business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshman, from his fourteen-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst firecrackers.[5] In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.[6][7] In Sikhism, Deepavali commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by defeating Emperor Jahangir; the people lit candles and diyas to celebrate his return. This is the reason Sikhs also refer to Deepavali as Bandi Chhorh Divas, "the day of release of detainees". The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his...
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