Deepavali or Diwali is the major Indian occasion which is celebrated whole heartedly in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. It is also called ‘Festival of Lights’ as people illuminate candles, diyas on this day and celebrate the victory of good over wicked powers. The day is celebrated in throughout the world, where in Nepal it is called Tihar and Swanti. It falls in the months of October or November. In North India, the day marks the homecoming of Lord Ram to his kingdom Ayodhya after the 14 years of exile. People of his kingdom celebrated his home return by lightning thousands of diyas, therefore the day has been named as ‘Deepavali’, which is again shortened as ‘Diwali’.

In Haryana Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It comes in the middle of the month of Karthik. First comes the little Diwali on which rice and sugar put in vessels, with a paisa placed on the top, are given away to Brahmins and girls. The deceased ancestors are said to visit the house of their families on that day, and it is in their name that the ceremony is performed. Houses are whitewashed and cleaned. On the next day, or Govardhan, Diwali lamps are lighted in the evening and sweets distributed. On the following day all the sweepings are thrown out on to the refused dumps outside the village. The old lamps are also thrown their and new ones placed in the house. The rich and trading classes specially consider Diwali as their own festival. On this occasion they perform pujas which are considered auspicious for their profession.

Diwali is also celebrated by gambling in various ways throughout the night accompanied by merry making. For children Diwali provides an occasion for fire works.

It is celebrated for five days. Each day dedicated to a special thought. First day – Dhanteras or Dhantrayadashi is celebrated in favour of goddess Lakshmi. Poojas are performed and devotional songs are sung in praise of the goddess. Small foot steps are made with rice flour and vermilion powder on the floors of the houses depicting the arrival of the goddess. Earthen lamps filled with oil having cotton wicks are arranged in neat rows along the walls and parapets in the verandahs. These lamps are lit in the evening and kept throughout the night. Glittering lights are a splendid spectacle.

Second day the Narka – Chaturdashi or Choti Diwal, the celebrations are based on a legend of the killing of the Naraka Asura by Lord Krishna. Traditional early baths with oil are made and kumkums are applied on their foreheads. The following days Goddess Kali is worshipped, books are worshipped in a special ceremony, old accounts are settled and new ones are opened and the legend of the Asura king Bali is remembered. On Diwali day, delicious sweets are prepared and exchanged among friends and relatives.