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Diwali & the Ramayana
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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.
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