The Hindu festival of Diwali, also known as Deepavali, takes place across five days in the seventh month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar, Ashwin.
The celebration is also known as the festival of lights and commemorates Rama-chandra – the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu – returning to his people following 14 days of exile.
During his exile, it is said Rama fought and defeated the demon king, Ravana.
The festivities of Diwali symbolise the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
This year the festival takes place between November 5 and 9, with Diwali falling on Wednesday, November 7.
How is Diwali celebrated?
Each day of the festival has a different meaning.
Day one or Dhanteras this year falls on Monday, November 5 and marks the beginning of celebrations.
Next is Chot Diwali, Naraka Chaturdasi on Tuesday, November 6, when sweet treats and feasts are prepared and bought.
Diwali is on the third day and is when the temple is visited, and time is spent with loved ones.
On day four, Annakut, Padwa, Govardhan Puja, the day celebrates the bond between a husband and wife.
The final day on November 9 is Bhai Duj, Bhaiya Dooj and is one to commemorate the brother-sister relationship.
Traditionally brothers will travel to spend time with sisters to share food and exchange gifts.
Diwali is a festival which sees streets and homes decorated with many lights, colours and cards exchanged to commemorate light.
For many in Hinduism, Diwali signifies the beginning of the new year.
Below are some greetings to say during Diwali.
1. A festival full of sweet childhood memories,
A sky full of lights,
Mouth full of sweets,
And heart full of joy.
Wishing You All A Very Happy Diwali!
2. May the light of the diyas guide you on the way to happiness and success. Happy Diwali to you and your family!
May the joyous celebration
Of this divine festival
Fill your heart with
Never ending joy and happiness!
3. On this festival of light, I pray that your happiness is multiplied and your sorrows divided.
May this auspicious festival bring you and your family health, wealth and success. Happy Diwali.
4. Another year will be over, another year will come.
I hope and pray that the lights of Diwali illuminate the new chapter of your life. Happy Diwali!