Traditional greetings on Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, include, “Wish you a happy and auspicious Diwali” and “Wish you a bright and prosperous new year.” Friends and family exchange greetings through personal visits, cards, emails and calls. Gifts and culinary delicacies are also exchanged as a form of greeting.
The celebration of Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, of good over evil, and of knowledge, truth and wisdom over ignorance and falsehood. People herald the festival with joy, excitement, prayers and gratitude to God. Diwali greetings often reflect these sentiments. Diwali is also a time for reconnecting and reuniting with loved ones, which is why greetings in one form or another play a significant role. Other greetings also incorporate wishes for continued love and good health, peace and contentment, and wealth and prosperity.
Diwali also ushers in a new year for Hindus, and businessmen often settle their accounts to start afresh on this occasion. This is why Diwali greetings go hand-in-hand with wishes for a happy new year. Celebrations also include wearing new clothes, as well as cleaning and decorating homes with flowers and colorful floor patterns called "rangoli." An important tradition is to light candles and oil-filled earthen lamps (each called a "deep" or "diya"). Preparing and sharing delicious feasts is an equally significant part of the festivities. Diwali also has a rich social and cultural heritage of legends and customs. Like many other Indian festivals, it links directly with deeper traditional values.