Diwali (or Deepavali / Deepa Oli, the "festival of lights") is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn (northern hemisphere) or Spring (southern hemisphere) every year. Diwali is the one of the largest and brightest festivals in India. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of good over evil.The preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices.On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja, fireworks follow,then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated.
As part of Diwali many Hindu children hear the story of Rama and Sita.