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Fast Facts
Region : Celebrated all over India
Also Known As : Deepawali or Deepavali
Celebration Time : During September - October
Celebrated by : Hindus, Jains and Sikhs

OverviewDeewali Celebration
Diwali, also called Deepawali is an important Indian festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. In the state of West Bengal, Diwali festival is celebrated as Kali Puja and goddess Kali, consort of Shiva is worshipped on this day. A festival of lights, Diwali symbolises the victory of truthfulness and removing the spiritual darkness.

Celebrations of Diwali mainly focus on light and lamps, traditional deeyas (clay lamps) are lit during the festival as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind. The festival of Diwali sees the cleaning of the houses and rangolis or decorative designs are painted on the walls and floors. Family members bought new clothes and they gather together to offer prayers, distribute special sweets and lit up their houses as well. Firecrackers are also burnt during the festival days by people of all age groups.

On Diwali day, the Goddess Lakshmi (Vishnu's consort), who is the symbol of wealth and prosperity, is also worshipped by the people across the country. Diwali is celebrated all over India just 20 days after Dussehra, on the 13th day of the dark fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashvin usually falls in October - November. For three consecutive days the festival of Diwali celebrated by the people with great pomp and gaiety. The festival of Diwali also marks the beginning of the new year in some Hindu calendars.

Legends Associated to Diwali
There are several belief regarding the origin of the Diwali. The most popular legend is that Diwali is celebrated to commemorates Lord's Rama's return to his kingdom, Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile and his victory of over demon king Ravana. Another legend says Diwali is the day to celebrate to destruction of the arrogant Bali, at the hands of Lord Vishnu.

Significance of Diwali
Diwali is celebrated by the Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and it has different significance respectively. For Hindus, the festival of Diwali marks the victory of good over evil. While for Sikhs, the story of Diwali is a story of the Sikh freedom struggle. According to Jains, Ganadhar Gautam Swami, the chief disciple of Mahavira attained complete knowledge on this very days, that's why they celebrate the festival of Diwali.

Firecrackers
Firecrackers are the essential part of festival of Diwali. Children, young and the old light colourful firecrackers in the night to enhance their joy and happiness. It's a truth that the firecrackers cause the noise and air pollution and sometimes may become fatal as well. Hence, the government officials run campaigns on creating awareness over the adverse impacts of noise and air pollution.

Dates of Celebrations
Though the main days are common and fall on the same set of days across India, but the festival is celebrated for a differing numbers of days by varied communities and regions. The celebration days depends on the on the version of the Hindu calendar being used in the particular region. In Nothern India the celebrations of Diwali festival begin from Laxmi Puja, the no-moon day (Amanta) and going on for 2-3 days. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, the celebrations of Diwali begin from Vasubaras, 12th day of 2nd fortnight of Ashwin going on for 6 days.

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