Thus, the name of the festival literally translates to “line of lights.” For that reason, Diwali is also called the festival of lights.

When is Diwali celebrated?

Diwali is celebrated sometime in the months of October or November. According to the Hindu calendar, the festival is celebrated on the new moon night in Shukal Paksh.

The sparklers in Diwali Celebrations 2010
The sparklers in Diwali Celebrations 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While the festival itself is celebrated just one day, there are other occasions associated with Diwali. Thus, the festive season is actually a 6 day long affair. The first occasion in this festive season is Dhanteras. On this day, people can be seeing buying utensils, as it is supposed to bring good luck. It is considered to be an auspicious day for businessmen.

The second day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi, which marks the slaying of demon Naraka by Lord Krishna. The third day is the festival of Diwali itself. The fourth day, according to Hindu religion, marks the occasion when Bali took control of his new kingdom in Patala. The fifth day is Bhai Dooj. On this day, sisters bless their brothers with good health and a long life.
The significance of Diwali

According to Hindu mythology, there are a lot of events associated with the festival of Diwali. Primarily, the festival marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years. The festival also marks the killing of demon Narkasura by Lord Krishna. The festival is also associated with return of Pandavas after an exile of 13 years.
Other than mythology, the festival marks the end of harvest season in India. In the olden days, the day used to mark the end of business and the closing of accounts.

Diwali Celebrations

Diwali is one festival which is celebrated across the length and breadth of the country. Families get together and worship Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth according to Hindu religion. Worshipping her is supposed to bring good luck, wealth and prosperity.
People can be seen exchanging Diwali gifts and pleasantries with each other much before the actual festival.
Houses are decorated with a lot of lights and there is a general atmosphere of bonhomie and happiness.
Other traditions associated with the festival of Diwali
Many families in India gamble on the night on Diwali. According to popular belief, gambling on Diwali brings good luck in business matters.
People also light a lot of firecrackers on the night of Diwali. Skies are lit up with different colors as people enjoy the biggest festival of the year. 

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