is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of
Hindu month of Ashwayuja. It usually occurs in October/November,
and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals
in India. Diwali comes exactly twenty days after Dussehra.
Hindus and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of
life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social
relationships. For Hindus it is one of the most important
festivals, and beginning of the year in some Hindu calendars.
There are several beliefs regarding the origin of the
holiday. The most repeated version is that Hindus celebrate
Diwali to mark the time when Lord Rama achieved victory
over Ravana. Some also view it as the day Krishna defeated
the demon Narakasura or in honor of the day Bali went
to rule the nether-world, obeying the order of Vishnu.
It is also a significant festival for the Sikh faith.
In India, Diwali is now considered to be more of a national
festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is
enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith.