Today is Diwali , the festival of lights . This is the most important festival of India. It signifies the triumph of good over evil and victory of brightness over darkness.
Candles and oil lamps ( though these are now being replaced by electric lights) are lit up and placed around homes to give a bright and festive look.Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali which means an array of lights. Balconies of homes and windows are decked with lights on window sills and parapets.
On Diwali, the goddess Laxmi, a symbol of prosperity, is worshipped. Special Pujas ( prayers ) are performed at home before the beginning of celebrations. People wear new clothes, share sweets and light firecrackers. The North Indian business community usually starts their financial new year on Diwali and new account books are opened on this day.
The place where Puja is held is specially decorated with colours and flowers. This ritual is performed in every Hindu home. The main doors of homes are left open for the evening to enable the Goddess Laxmi to enter homes and bring wealth with her.
The evening ends with family and friends getting together, exchanging gifts and sweets, bursting crackers and dining.
Wish you all a Happy and Prosperous Diwali