Happy Diwali!

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Shruti Khandelwal

Diwali is the biggest and most important Hindu festival of the year, think of it like Christmas for Christians. The festival’s full name is Deepavali meaning the row (avali) of clay lamps (deep). The lamps, also known as diyas, represent the inner light of a person which holds the strength that protects them from the power of darkness. 
For northern Indians, Diwali serves as Lord Rama’s return after defeating the demon Ravana. For southern Indians, it represents the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakusura. For western Indians, it marks the day Lord Vishnu sent the demon Bali to rule the underworld. It also marks the financial new year in regards to good fortune.
Different religions of India celebrate this holiday for more reasons; Jains celebrate the spiritual awakening of Lord Mahavira, Sikhs celebrate the release of Guru Hargobind Ji from imprisonment.
This festival is all about good over evil and light over dark, this is why Indian homes are always decorated with lights and bright flower garlands.
Diwali is typically celebrated for five days.
Day 1: Houses are cleaned. Shop for gold/silver or new kitchen utensils.
Day 2: Houses are decorated with diyas, lights, and rangoli.
Day 3: Pray to the goddess Lakshmi for good fortune. Families often get together and feast,  followed by fireworks.
Day 4: In celebration of the first day of the new year, friends and family visit each other with well wishes and gifts.
Day 5: Married sisters are visited by their brothers. New clothes are to be worn on this day.
I hope you’ve had a safe and happy Diwali, SPF!