Why Is Diwali Celebrated?

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Diwali is a popular five-day celebration for many Indians, namely Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and certain Buddhists. Diwali's spiritual significance has numerous interpretations due to the vast diversity of beliefs and religions in India. The festival is ultimately considered a happy occasion marked by people buying gifts for themselves and their family members. Lastly, Diwali is synonymous with multiple ancient legends and famous stories.

Diwali is directly linked to the Ramayana — one of the oldest and most significant narratives in Hinduism. Lord Rama, an avatar of the Hindu creator god Vishnu, is a pivotal figure in the Ramayana alongside his wife Sita and the 10-headed demon king Ravana. According to legend, Ravana kidnaps Sita and Rama embarks on a journey to rescue her. Rama completes his quest with heaven's aid and returns to the city of Ayodhya with Sita. They're welcomed by a magnificent festival of lights that serves as the first official Diwali celebration. 

But this is just one interpretation of the holiday; Kali, the Goddess of Death, receives tributes in Bengal while Krishna, Vishnu's eighth avatar, is acknowledged in South India. Others celebrate the birth of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune and Vishnu's wife.