The festival of lights is upon us and no one is keeping calm for at least till the coming weekend. The preparations for Diwali or Deepavali, which falls on October 30, Sunday, are on in full swing. Artisans are adding finishing touches to their earthen lamps, firecrackers are being manufactured, packed and dispatched for last-minute sale, and shoppers are strutting roadside markets for lanterns, lights and other things.
Diwali is one of the major and widely-observed festivals in India. The reason why it holds such significance in Hindu households is because the celebrations mark Lord Ram's return to Ayodhya after a 14-year-long exile, during which he had fought and defeated devil king Ravan and his minions in a battle. One would ask, why all the light? Lord Ram returned to his city on a moonless night (amavasya), which was why Ayodhya was lit up using rows of diyas (earthen lamps).
Diwali (Deepavali) is also celebrated in the UK, America, parts of Australia and quite a few other countries. The Sydney Opera House will apparently light up in a striking golden hue to commemorate the festival.