Images of India : Lanterns to light up Diwali…

DiwaliThe very word Diwali conjures up images of lights and flickering diyas. On this day Lord Rama, along with Sita and brother Lakshman was returning to his hometown Ayodhya after 14 years of exile in the forest. He had just finished battling and overcoming the demon king, Ravana, who had abducted Sita. The people of Ayodhya lit lamps in every home to welcome their true king as well as celebrate his victory over Ravana and the safe return of their Queen Sita. The festivities continue till today. According to mythology, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth travels through all homes on Diwali night and stops to bless the homes that are shiny and sparkling clean. So as this festival approaches, all houses go through a thorough spring-cleaning in anticipation of wealth and blessings. She is also greeted by Rangoli designs on the threshold of each home. Festivities start from Dhanteras, two days before Diwali when purchases and new clothes and jewellery are bought. This day is considered auspicious for wealth, and it is said that if you buy any silver or gold on this day, you will be lucky throughout the year.