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The Diwali or Deepavali festival marks the victory of good over evil.

The Sanskrit word Deepavali means an array of lights and signifies the victory of brightness over darkness. As the knowledge of Sanskrit diminished, the name was popularly modified to Diwali, especially in northern India.

On Diwali, the goddess Laxmi, a symbol of prosperity, is worshipped. People wear new clothes, share sweets and light firecrackers. The North Indian business community usually starts their financial new year on Diwali and new account books are opened on this day. Hindus find cause to celebrate this festival for different reasons. In the North, Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana from a 14-year exile and a war in which he vanquished the demon king Ravana. It is believed that the people lit oil lamps all along the way to light the royal family's path in the darkness. In North India, the festival is held on Amavasya (or moonless night), the final day of the Vikram calendar. The following day marks the beginning of the North Indian New Year. In South India, Diwali festival often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned tens of thousands of inhabitants. It was Krishna who finally subdued Naraka and freed the prisoners. It is celebrated in the Tamil month of aipasi (thula month) naraka chaturdasi' thithi, preceding amavasai. The preparations begin the day before, when the oven is cleaned, smeared with lime, four or five kumkum dots are applied, and then it is filled with water for the next day's oil bath. The house is washed and decorated with kolam (rangoli) patterns with kavi (red oxide). In the pooja room, betel leaves, betel nuts, plaintain fruits, flowers, sandal paste, kumkum, gingelly oil, turmeric powder, scented powder are kept. Crackers and new dresses are placed in a plate after smearing a little kumkum or sandal paste. Diwali does not coincide with the beginning of a new year as South Indians follow a different calendar, the Shalivahana calendar. In the north, most communities observe the custom of lighting lamps. However, in the south, the custom of lighting baked earthen lamps is not so much part of this festival as it is of the Karthikai celebrations a fortnight later. The lights signify a welcome to prosperity in the form of Lakshmi, and the fireworks are supposed to scare away evil spirits.

Deepavali celebrations in south India begin early in the morning. The eldest family member applies sesame oil on the heads of all the family members. Then, it's off for a bath, beginning with the youngest in the family. They emerge with new clothes and a look of anticipation at the thought of bursting crackers, which symbolizes the killing of the demon king Narakasur. Lehiyan: But before that comes Lehiyan, the bitter concoction, to cleanse the system of its festive over-eating! Then to the crackers. Murukku: A puja is performed for the family deities in the morning. Breakfast consists of murukku , a sweet dish and, of course, idli or dosa. Wish fulfilment: Some communities believe that when Narakasur was to be killed, Lord Krishna asked him his last wish. Narakasura replied that he wanted to enjoy the last day of his life in a grand manner and Diwali was celebrated. That was the beginning and the practice continued. In the evening, lamps are lighted and crackers are burst. As most of the cracker manufacturing units are in Tamil Nadu, there is no dearth of fireworks here.

Dusshera
Dussehra is one of the major Hindu festivals of India. It is celebrated throughout the country with great zeal and enthusiasm. People all over the country participate in the occasion in their own way. It is the day when Lord Rama killed the ten headed demon king Ravana and gave the throne of his kingdom Lanka to his brother Vibhishana. Since that day, the day of Vijaya Dashmi is considered to be auspicious and festive by the people of India and is celebrated as the day that symbolizes the victory of Good over Evil. People throughout the country celebrate the occasion in their own way. The Dusshera of Mysore is very famous in terms of grandeur and splendor. Each region of the country has its own specialty in the celebrations. While at some places people engage in public processions, at some places people participate in Ram Lila and some people organize Ravan Dahan in the city. Feasting and busting crackers are also an important feature of the Dusshera celebrations. At many places in the country, colorful fairs and exhibitions are also organized on this occasion. In most of the places in the country right from ten days before Dussehra, the whole Ramayana is enacted in various parts of India. The occasion is also celebrated in many countries where people of Hindu faith are residing in a very similar manner to that of India. It is on the tenth day that people come out in processions and chant the greatness of Lord Rama and enact the whole Rama-Ravana war on the streets. It is said that this is a way to remind people of the fact that truth always triumphs and motivate them to follow the path of dharma. Dussehra symbolizes the conquest of good over evil. It is thus considered as an auspicious day. Even today after burning the effigy of Ravana along with his subordinates Meghanad and Kumbhkarana on the Dusshera celebrations, we simply symbolize the power of goodness and humanity is above all kind of powers. As Lord Rama fought a battle

of ten days with Ravana, who had abducted his wife Sita, the day of his victory is called Vijaya Dashmi, the tenth day of Victory. It is said that this day symbolizes not as the victory of Ram but also the victory of mankind. That is why this day is held in high regard by people who believe that whenever there will be chaos in the society and evil will try to take over humanity, God will appear in a the form of savior to protect his devotees.