Diwali is a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and an official holiday in India. Adherents of these religions celebrate Diwali as the Festival of Lights. They light diyas-cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil-to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual. As per Hindu calendar, the five day festival of Diwali is centered on the new moon day that ends the month of Ashwin and begins the month of Kartika, beginning on the 13th day of the dark half of Ashwin (Ashwin 28th) and ending on the 2nd day of the bright half of Kartika (Kartika 2nd). The main day of celebration varies regionally. In Hinduism, across many parts of India and Nepal, it is the homecoming of Rama after a 14-year exile in the forest and his victory over Ravana. In the legend, the people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (dpa), thus its name: dpwali. Over time, this word transformed into Diwali in Hindi and Dipawali in Nepali, but still retained its original form in South and East Indian Languages. In Dravidian languages it is called as Deepavali and the same is used in Malaysia and Singapore.
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