India has bagged the distinction of being the top tourist destination in Asia at the recently held World Travel Awards Asia and Australia in October, 2011 and one of the best times to visit the country is During Diwali, the biggest festival in the country.
Diwali is a celebration of victory of good over evil and brightness over darkness. According to the Indian Scriptures, on this day, the Indian God, Lord Rama returned to his kingdom after 14 years of exile and also defeating the Demon King, Ravana and rescuing his queen from his clutches. To this day, people light up their homes with earthen lamps, candles and lights and distribute sweets and other gifts to their loved ones.
The festive season kicks off almost a month before and the markets are choc-a-block with people shopping for gifts, flowers and household items.
Gifting dry fruits like almonds, raisins, cashew nuts etc. is a big tradition…
..so is packs of chocolates and Indian sweets
One of the biggest attractions on that day is fireworks and children especially look forward to this part of the night
Women get Henna applied on their hands
People also shop for earthen lamps and candles,
which are lit up in the evening..
after offering prayers to, Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Diwali also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and its also considered an auspicious day to pray for a great year ahead.
People also decorate their homes with Rangoli, which are decorative designs made out of colored sawdust, marble dust or rice
After, the prayers, most families get together and watch the fireworks or even have card parties (its a good day to gamble, what with offering prayers to the Goddess of Wealth )