Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a five-day celebration originating from the Indian subcontinent. One of the most popular festivals in India.
Traditionally, Diwali is a Hindu festival commemorating the return of Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshman, from his fourteen-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana.
Paper lanterns and traditional oil lamps known as Diya are lit around people’s homes, temples and even the streets. This lighting of lamps symbolises Lord Rama’s return and the triumph of light over darkness. People also take part in ceremonies, prayer, firework displays and lively gatherings where sweets and food are served.
Diwali takes place on a different date each year, according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. It typically coincides with the first new moon of October or November - the darkest night of the year.
People give each other special gifts and eat lovely food with their families. They wear new clothes to visit the temple and throw parties. There are lots of different kinds of entertainment, including dance shows and fireworks displays.
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