The most celebrated festival of India depicting lights as the embodiment of positivity and optimism falls on October this year. It is speculated among priests and astrologers that the ideal dates for Diwali would be October 18 and 19, 2017 for south and north India respectively. Also, termed as ‘Deepawali’, the festival of lights is observed nation-wide in the autumn season. The main festive night usually coincides with the Hindu Lunisolar month ‘Kartika’ in ‘Bikram Sambat’ calendar. However, according to the ‘Gregorian calendar’ Diwali night comes between mid-October and mid-November.
Prior to Diwali night, people clean, decorate or renovate their houses or workplaces. During the main festival people light up their homes with lamps and candles. After that goddess Laxmi is worshiped, as the devotees offer prayers to the goddess of wealth for materialistic abundance and prosperity. Then, fireworks are performed followed by offering sweets and exchange of gifts among families, friends and relatives.
The festivities start with Dhanteras, followed by ‘Narak Chaturdasi’ on second day, Deepawali on third day, ‘Diwali Padwa’ dedicated to matrimony on fourth day and ends with ‘Bhai Dooj’ dedicated to sister-brother bond on the fifth day. On Diwali night, ‘Jains’ celebrate the attainment of salvation by ‘Lord Mahavira’, while ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas’ is celebrated among ‘Sikhs’ to mark the release of ‘Guru Hargobind Singh’ from a Mughal emperor. A majority of Buddhists celebrate Diwali by worshiping Laxmi.