World ? Asia ? India ? Mumbai

Diwali - Festival of Lights

17 Oct 2009 (annual)
Diwali, or Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, is the most important pan-Indian Hindu festival. Every Hindu home in Mumbai, no matter how humble, as well as many non-Hindu households, light lamps and lanterns in celebration.
Diwali symbolises light conquering darkness and good triumphing over evil. It marks the return of Lord Rama to his capital Ayodhya after vanquishing King Ravana, who had abducted his wife Sita. The festival coincides with a post-harvest sense of plenty across the country, so it is a time for big spending, particularly on jewellery.

For retailers it is almost as important a period as the Christmas season is in the western world. The goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, is also worshipped and related celebrations occur immediately before and after the main day. A public firework display is fronted by the sheriff of Mumbai at Chowpatty beach.
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