For many Indians this five day festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
People start the new business year at Diwali, and some Hindus will say prayers to the goddess for a successful year.
Lamps are lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people’s homes.
They also celebrate one of the Diwali legends, which tells of the return of Rama and Sita to Rama’s kingdom after fourteen years of exile.
In Britain, as in India, the festival is a time for:
- Spring-cleaning the home,
- Wearing new clothes
- Exchanging gifts (often sweets and dried fruits) and preparing festive meals
- Decorating buildings with fancy lights.
- Huge firework displays often celebrate Divali.
The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.