Diwali 2013 • दिवाळी
About the Festival
Diwali (Marathi: दिवाळी) is popularly known as the Festival of Lights. It is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar , Fiji and Surinam.
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The name Diwali is itself a contraction of the word Deepavali (दीपावली Dīpāvali), which translates into row of lamps (in Sanskrit). Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas) (or Deep in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. Some Indian business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali, hoping for prosperity the following year.
In Hinduism, Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating (the demon king) Ravana, the ruler of Lanka, in the epic Ramayana. It also celebrates the slaying of the demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Both signify the victory of good over evil.
Source: Wikipedia contributors, "Diwali," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Diwali&oldid=391757609