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Diwali: The festival of lights
Diwali, an auspicious religious festival celebrated by the Hindus, Sikhs and Jams with great enthusiasm and excitement that symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Spectacular lights, firecrackers, irresistible traditional sweets and sending gifts to dear ones mark the celebration of Diwali or Deepavali (Sanskrit language). The Sanskrit translation of Deepavali means row of lights.

The Hindus celebrate this festival to commemorate the homecoming of Lord Rama after 14 year-long exile and his victory over the mythological demon Ravana. For Jams, this festival carries the essence of spiritual upliftment because it marks the achievement of Nirvana or Moksha by Mahavira, the last Tirthankara.People will celebrate Diwali on November 13 with great fervor and bursting firecrackers throughout the night. Devotees decorate their houses, temples of Lord Rama and market with fascinating lanterns and rangoli designs to observe the festival in attractive ways. 

Devotees of Lord Rama on this day illuminate his birthplace, Ayodhya, with earthen diyas and burst firecrackers to rejoice his return to the kingdom. Illuminating the diyas on Diwali signifies dispelling of darkness and filling the lives of the people by hopes.Diwali, popularly known as the ?festival of lights, is observed incessantly for five days that kicks off in late Ashvin and concludes in the early Kartika month according to the luni solar Hindu calendar.Each day of the festival is associated with six different principal stories. 

The North India, worshipping of Lord Ganesha and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is an important part of the Diwali festival that signifies welcoming of prosperity and wealth.Sending Diwali greetings cards and Diwali gifts to dear ones is also a part of the celebration and a wonderful way to say ?Happy Diwali? or send warm wishes on the occasion. People also send captivating Diwali greetings cards, inspirational Diwali SMS and lovely Diwali messages to share the spirit and essence of the festival. 

The trend of celebrating Diwali varies across India. In many regions, this festival marks the end of the harvest season. Farmers celebrate the harvest season and express their gratitude towards goddess Lakshmi by offering prayers at home or temples. 

The Sikhs observe Diwali as the release and return of Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth guru, and other 52 princes in 1619 by decorating the Golden Temple with colourful lights.So, if you are thinking of showing your affection towards your loved ones, then Diwali is the suitable time to cherish and pep up your relationships.History of Diwa1iDiwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals. Although the main reason for the celebration of Diwali is the return of Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and victoryover Ravana, history traces back to other important events of significance associated with Diwali. 

Return of Rama to Ayodhya: On this day Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after completing his exile of 14 years and defeating the Demon king Ravana in a ferocious battle. On his return the delighted people of Ayodhya had illuminated the complete kingdom with oil lamps Deep. Also, while returning to Ayodhya he traveled from South towards North that is why Diwali is celebrated one day before in Southern India. Narakasur?s Death: 

According to the Puranas, Naraka, the son of Bhudevi, had a blessing from Lord Brahma according to which he could face death only at the hands of mother Bhudevi. Because of this, he started to create immense destruction and harassing of celestial beings. Tired and irritated with the brutalities, people asked Lord Krishna to help them. Due to the blessing with Naraka, Lord Krishna asked his wife Satyabhama, the reincarnation of Bhudevi, to be his charioteer in the battle with Naraka. When due to a bow hit by Naraka, Krishna got fainted; Satyabhama got angry and hit Naraka with a bow. This ended the rein of brutalities by Naraka. The incident not only marked the end of Naraka, but also gave a lesson that parents should not hesitate to punish their children when they stray on to the wrong path. 

Diwali is celebrated world-wide. Indians are settled all over the world and no matter where they are. Indians love to celebrate their festivals. Diwali is one such festival which is celebrated with much pomp and vigor. Along with the Indians the natives of that country also participate in the festival celebration.

Diwali in Britain

Today Indians number around one and a half million in UK, making them the single largest ethnic minority in Britain. Although every Indian settled abroad misses his homeland, yet, people try to feel at home and connect with the tradition and culture of India by celebrating Festivals with the same enthusiasm and excitement as any other Indian would do. They visit temples, clean and decorate their houses, make sweets at home, buy new clothes, and offer prayers and prasad to the lord. The lamps and Diyas lighted produce a very home-like atmosphere for them.

Diwali in Guyana 

Guyana is located in the north Eastern coast of South America. The population of Hindus amount to about 33 % of the total population. The festival of Diwali is very important in Guyana as it is observed as the National holiday of Guyana. Although most of the rituals observed in Guyana is similar to that in India, but they hold specific significance for the people out there. The tradition of exchanging sweets indicate the importance of sharing and that of greetings show the necessity to establish goodwill among each other. In Guyana it?s customary to wear new clothes on Diwali as it indicates that healthy minds reside in healthy bodies. 

Diwali in Nepal

Diwali is termed as Tihar or Swanti in Nepal, which is a multicultural and multilingual country. Nepal is a land-locked country, in the foothills of Himalayas. Most of the traditions observed here are similar to that in India. In Nepal, there is a different ritual associated with each of the five days of Diwali celebration. On the first day, they worship cows and feed them with rice .The second day is dedicated to dogs and special food materials are prepared for them. Third day is meant for lighting lamps and burning crackers. The fourth day is dedicated to Yama, to whom prayers are offered for long life. The final fifth day is Bhaiya Dooj and is dedicated to brothers. 

Diwali in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka this festival is known as Deepavali and is celebrated by the Tamil community. People take oil bath and wear new clothes as a part of tradition and visit temples and perform Poosai (Puja). Srilankas celebration comprises many of the customary aspects of Deepavali such as games, fireworks, singing and dancing and the tradition of a large meal and fireworks are admirably preserved. 

Diwali in Malaysia

In Malaysia, Diwali festival is celebrated during the seventh month of the Hindu solar calendar. It is a federal public holiday throughout Malaysia. In many respects it resembles the ethnicity followed in the Indian subcontinent. 

Diwali in United States

Diwali is assuming prodigious importance year after year in United States with increasing Indian population. Diwali was first celebrated in the White House in 2003 and was given official status by the United States Congress in 2007. Indians in the country celebrate Diwali in different parts of the US, just as in India.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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