India is a land of festivals. These festivals are woven into the social, religious and cultural mosaic of India. The Dewali is the festival of lights or lamps. It is especially a nocturnal festival. The Dewali in India and Kali Puja occur on the same night. In fact, Kali Puja is observed only by the people of West Bengal, but Dewali is celebrated by the Hindus all over India and abroad.
The Dewali is religiously associated with the occasion of the return of Ramachandra to Ayodhya after an exile of fourteen years. His retum to Ayodhya was celebrated by the people of Ayodhya. It represents the ultimate victory of good over evil.
The Dewali comes in late autumn. The atmosphere becomes cheerful, Houses are decorated with ornamentally arranged lights and candles at night. Shops are decorated with colourful bunting and rows of lighted lamps. The shops of sweetmeats and crackers are crowded. On the streets and in the campus of houses crackers are burst and fireworks are displayed in the peak hours in the evening and late night. People come out to see and enjoy the lights and fireworks.
There are some bad effects too. The deafening sound of bursting the crackers disturb the aged people. Sometimes accidents occur in the display of fireworks. Some children catch fire while playing fireworks. The High Courts have passed order for the sound limit and prohibited some high-risk fireworks to avoid noise pollution and accidents. Some people spend their time drinking and gambling.
The Dewali is also an important day for the traders and businessmen. Many of them start new account books on this auspicious day. Many people worship the goddess Laxmi in their houses.
Anyway, Dewali is a gala day in our busy life. The Marwaris, the Gujratis, the Syndries and others send gifts and sweets to their friends and relatives. People of different communities exchange love and good wishes to each other.