Diwali is India’s festival of lights and marks the victory of good over evil. It is the biggest festival on the Indian calendar and gets its name from the name of the clay lamps (avali) that are lit outside Indian homes to symbolize light that protects from spiritual darkness.
Initially, Diwali was a harvest festival celebrated before the winter. It was the time when prayers were sent to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, for a successful year. The lamps lit outside are still to this day thought to help Lakshmi find her way into one’s home.
There are a number of traditional histories of the holiday, and you can read more about it in our source links below.