Diwali, the festival of Lights
is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (or deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. Every year people celebrate around the time of the last harvest before the winter.
One Festival, many stories: In North India they celebrate the story of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps. South India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In West India the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.