Help India celebrate good's triumph over evil

12th Aug 2013

One of the Hindu calendar's biggest festivals and events is being celebrated across countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar later this year.

All four enjoy official holidays for Diwali, popularly known as the "festival of lights", which is celebrated between mid-October and mid-December.

Visitors on religious-based specialist tours can join in the festivities.

Diwali entails the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil, symbolising the triumph of good over evil.

These are left on during the night to please Lakshmi, the wealth goddess.

Firecrackers are let off to drive away evil spirits and revellers wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family and friends.

The festival commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshmana, from his 14-year-long exile and overcoming the demon-king Ravana.

Diwali's itinerary:

- Dhanteras (day 1) sees most Indian business communities start their financial year

- Naraka Chaturdasi (day 2) commemorates the conquering of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama

- Amavasya (day 3) marks the worship of Lakshmi in her most charitable mood, fulfilling her devotees' wishes. It also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf phase vanquished the Bali and exiled him to Patala

- Kartika Shudda Padyami (day 4) saw Bali go to Patala and take the reins of his new kingdom in there

- Yama Dvitiya (day 5) see sisters invite their brothers to their homes

Diwali is celebrated in India from November 3-7.

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