Why Is Diwali Important to Hindus?

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The festival of Diwali, known as “the festival of lights,” is important to the Hindu religion because it signifies the victory of good over evil and light over dark. Hindu families celebrate it by lighting oil lamps and candles, shooting firecrackers into the air and feasting with their neighbors.

The Diwali festival is celebrated across India, but in the southern part of the country, it is more commonly known by its original Sanskrit name Deepavali. Northern and southern India celebrate this festival at different times, since they follow different calendars. It typically occurs in October or November on “Amavasya,” or the new moon when the sky is dark.

In northern India, Diwali coincides with the last day of the Vikram calendar, making it similar to New Year’s Eve. In the south, the festival commemorates the day when the god Krishna helped conquer the Assam King Asura Naraka, who had imprisoned or enslaved tens of thousands of people.

During Diwali, Hindus worship and offer thanks to the goddess, who is a symbol of goodness and prosperity. In the Hindu culture, darkness is linked to ignorance, and light is associated with prosperity, so Diwali celebrates the victory of prosperity over ignorance. The festival lasts for five days, with the third day being most prominent.