In India, people celebrate Diwali by setting out clay oil lamps, hanging lights, enjoying fireworks displays, feasting with family, giving gifts and playing light-hearted gambling games. The end of Diwali represents the beginning of the financial year, so business owners also honor the date by starting new account books.
The word "diwali" means "row of lights," and celebrants decorate the indoors and outdoors with beautiful rows of flickering lamps, lanterns and electric lights. Families also light up the night with bonfires and create beautiful flower displays. Diwali is viewed as a time for socializing and is celebrated in October or November by multiple religious denominations, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. This nationwide harvest festival is meant to welcome the goddess Lakshmi and secure her blessings for the new year.