Customs and celebrations of India include Diwali and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, which is October 2nd. Diwali is one of India's largest and most important traditional holidays.
The celebration of Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights, and it is a four-day celebration in which each day tells a story of a special deity. These deities include Lord Krishna, Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. However, in different traditions and legends of India, different deities are celebrated during Diwali. Additional deities that are celebrated include Mother Kali, Lord Rama and Lord Ganesha. All kinds of lights are lit all over the country during this festival, which is symbolic of the inner light that protects people from spiritual darkness.
Traditional food staples of India include Basmati rice, wheat and chana. Many spices are used in Indian food, such as ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, dried hot peppers and cinnamon. Traditional clothing in India consists of colorful silk saris for women and dhotis or kurtas for men. Dhotis are pieces of fabric that are tied around the waist and legs. Kurtas are waist length shirts. A sherwani is what men wear for special occasions. This garment is a long coat that is buttoned from the collar to the knees.