Diwali or Divali also known as Deepavali and the "festival of lights", is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November. Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit fusion word Dīpāvali, formed from dīpa and āvalī. Diwali dates back to ancient times in India, as a festival after the summer harvest in the Hindu calendar month of Kartika. Diwali is one of the happiest holidays in India, with significant preparations. People clean their homes and decorate them for the festivities. Diwali is one of the biggest shopping seasons in India; people buy new clothes for themselves and their families, as well as gifts, appliances, kitchen utensils, even expensive items such as cars and gold jewellery. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs to mark historical events, stories or myths, but they all spiritually mark the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair. The religious significance of Diwali varies regionally within India, depending on the school of Hindu philosophy, regional myths, legends, and beliefs. Diwali, for Sikhs, marks the Bandi Chhor Divas, when Guru Har Gobind freed himself and Hindu Kings, from Fort Gwalior, from the prison of Islamic ruler Jahangir, and arrived at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Diwali has special significance in Jainism. Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankar of this era, attained Nirvana on this day at Pavapuri on 15 October 527 BCE, on Chaturdashi of Kartika. Diwali is a five day festival in many regions of India, with Diwali night centering on the new...
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