Diwali, Divali, or Deepawali is a major Indian and Nepalese festive holiday. What started as a harvest festival in ancient times, became associated with many legends and became a significant festival in Hinduism and all the faiths which originated in India – Jainism and Sikhism. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the “Festival of Light”, where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being.
The most popular legend associated with Diwali today is the homecoming of King Rama of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest. The people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (deepa), thus its name, Deepawali, or simply shortened as Diwali.