Diwali or Deepavali is the festival of lights,celebrated all over India. It is the festival of wealth and prosperity. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped the deity of wealth is worshipped on this day. Diwali is celebrated as the symbol of the victory of light over darkness. This festival is celebrated on the new moon day marking the end of the month of Ashwin. Diwali or the festival of lights falls on the Amavasya the 15th day of the dark fortnight of Ashwin.
Diwali is celebrated with special Lakshmi puja ceremonies,decorating the houses with lights,diyas and candles,making rangoli designs with flowers and colors. Every home,every family welcomes goddess lakshmi for wealth and prosperity.
A day before diwali comes 'Dhanteras',whic is believed to be a very auspicious is the best day for purchasing gold or silver. Ladies purchase gold and silver jewelleries,coins,one or two utensils on Dhanteras. A common celebration of Diwali is exchanging gifts and sweets,visiting the places of relatives and friends and bursting fire crackers.
Diwali,the day when King Rama's victory was celebrated in Ayodhya after his victory in the epic war with Ravana. Rama & his wife Sita returned after 14 years of exile, ending the war in which the whole kingdom of Lanka was destroyed. On this dark night of Amavasya Ayodhaya was glowed up with rows of lamps, radiating the dark nights to welcome home the king Rama. So on this auspicious day the lightening up of lamps signifies happiness & end of bad.
It is said that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of milk called the 'Ksheer Sagar'. She brought with her wealth and prosperity for mankind. Hindus believe that Lakshmi,the Goddess of wealth and good fortune,visit the homes of devotees on this day and thus they keep their places clean & well-lit to welcome her sacred steps.
According to Srimadbhagavat Puran Lord Krishna slayed the demon Narakashur on this day,the ruler of Pragjyotishpur. He imprisoned many princesses of age of marriage and planned to marry them. Lord Krishna attacked and slayed him and set the princesses free. The dying Narkasur asked Lord Krishna for a boon. Lord Krishna granted him the boon as on this date the one who takes an auspicious bath i.e. mangalsnan,would not suffer in hell. Consequently, the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight of Ashwin also came to be known as Narak chaturdashi and on that day people take there bath before sunrise. On this day when Krishna returned home at dawn,after slaying Narkasur,adorning a tilak of Narkasur's blood on His forehead, Nanda gave Him an auspicious bath. The women expressed their joy by moving lit lamps about His face.