Deepavali, or Diwali is a major Indian festival, and a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism;
Many legends are associated with Diwali. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the "Festival of Lights," where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. The festival is also celebrated by Buddhists of Nepal, particularly the Newar Buddhists.
In many parts of India, it is the homecoming of King Rama of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest;The people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (deepa), thus its name, Deepavali. This word, in due course, became Diwali in Hindi. But, in South Indian languages, the word did not undergo any change, and hence the festival is called Deepavali in southern India.

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Happy Diwali!
Obama wishes Indian Americans on Diwali
"Last year, I wrote that Diwali's celebration of the triumph of illumination over ignorance had a special meaning for me. At that time, travelling across America and meeting people of every spiritual and ethnic background showed me that there is much more that unites us than divides us. Now, one year later, I believe this even more strongly," he said.
Wish your family and friends "Shubh Diwali!"

A row of lamps, part of the Diwali observance.
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