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If you have a friend who is from India, be sure to wish him or her "happy diwali" today!
Known as the festival of lights, Diwali is one of the most important and popular celebrations in India. The theme of Diwali is that good triumphs over darkness. It is celebrated not only by Hindus worldwide but also by Jains and Sikhs. The date for Diwali varies slighlty from year to year because it is based on a lunar calendar – the 14th day of the lunar month of Ashvayuja. This usually falls between the end of October and into the first two weeks of November.
The festival lasts five days with each day designated for a specific spiritual focus. Various deities are worshiped during Diwali with the main one being Laksmhi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The origin of Diwali has been lost in history, however, it can be traced back to around 1000 CE. More ancient mythological stories in various Vedic texts provide inspiration for Diwali. Light is an important spiritual symbol for Hindus as it is for many in other religions.