Diwali & the Ramayana
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DIWALI

In one of the main stories in Hindu mythology, Diwali is the day Lord Rama, his wife Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana return to their homeland after 14 years in exile. The villagers lit a path for Rama, who had defeated the demon king Ravana. Reenactments of this story are part of celebrations in some regions.

Another Diwali story in Hindu mythology is that Diwali marks the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura and freed the people of his kingdom. After he slayed the demon, Lord Krishna declared it a day of festivities. In some parts of India, people burn effigies of the demon kings in both stories as part of the celebration.

People also celebrate the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali. As the goddess of prosperity, wealth and fertility, the romantic Diwali story says that she chose Lord Vishnu, one of Hinduism’s most important deities, to be her husband on the night of Diwali.

In other cultures, Diwali coincides with harvest and new year celebrations. No matter which Diwali story you celebrate, it’s always a day of new beginnings and light over darkness.
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In one of the main stories in Hindu mythology, Diwali is the day Lord Rama, his wife Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana return to their homeland after 14 years in exile. The villagers lit a path for Rama, who had defeated the demon king Ravana. Reenactments of this story are part of celebrations in some regions.  

Another Diwali story in Hindu mythology is that Diwali marks the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura and freed the people of his kingdom. After he slayed the demon, Lord Krishna declared it a day of festivities. In some parts of India, people burn effigies of the demon kings in both stories as part of the celebration.

People also celebrate the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali. As the goddess of prosperity, wealth and fertility, the romantic Diwali story says that she chose Lord Vishnu, one of Hinduism’s most important deities, to be her husband on the night of Diwali.

In other cultures, Diwali coincides with harvest and new year celebrations. No matter which Diwali story you celebrate, it’s always a day of new beginnings and light over darkness.
Prince Rama fought the Rakshas and drove them away, making Ravana very furious. He captured Rama's wife Sita, but she cleverly left a trail of jewels so that Rama could follow her to the island of Lanka. With the help of his brother and Hanuman, Rama set off to save her. Hanuman and the army of monkeys helped to build a huge bridge across to the island. Rama crossed the bridge and shot an arrow into Ravana. The demon was killed and the Sita was rescued from danger.

Rama, Sita and Lakshman returned to the kingdom after 14 years of living in the forest and Rama became king. The people of Ayodhya cleaned their houses and placed oil lamps (diyas) to light their path. This is what makes these traditions important to Diwali celebrations today.
Diwali, also spelled Divali, one of the major religious festivals in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, lasting for five days from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashvina to the second day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika. (The corresponding dates in the Gregorian calendar usually fall in late October and November.) The name is derived from the Sanskrit term dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” The festival generally symbolizes the victory of light over darkness.
Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that's also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities. For instance, in Jainism, Diwali marks the nirvana, or spiritual awakening, of Lord Mahavira on October 15, 527 B.C.; in Sikhism, it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment. Buddhists in India celebrate Diwali as well.
Diwali (English: /dɪˈwɑːliː/; Deepavali (IAST: dīpāvali) or Divali; related to Jain Diwali, Bandi Chhor Divas, Tihar, Swanti, Sohrai and Bandna) is a festival of lights and one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, notably Newar Buddhists.[7] The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November).[8][9][10] One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance".[11][12][13][14] The festival is widely associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity, with many other regional traditions connecting the holiday to Sita and Rama, Vishnu, Krishna, Yama, Yami, Durga, Kali, Hanuman, Ganesha, Kubera, Dhanvantari, or Vishvakarman. Furthermore, it is, in some regions, a celebration of the day Lord Rama returned to his kingdom Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating Ravana in Lanka and serving 14 years of exile.
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