Diwali, or Deepavali, is one of the biggest Indian festivals and also a major occassion in Nepal. The festival has great religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and the Nepalese. In India, Diwali is now considered to be more of a national festival, and is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith. It is commonly celebrated by decorating homes with lamps and candles, bursting of firecrackers and sparklers, eating sweets and other mouthwatering dishes, praying to Gods and Goddesses, observing religious rituals, wearing new dresses and sending wishes and gifts to one another.
The word "Divali/Diwali" is a variation of the Sanskrit word "Deepavali" which means "a continuous line of lamps" (The word 'Deep' means "light", and 'avali' means "a continuous line"). Thus, Diwali is the time to celebrate with lights.
We celebrated Diwali in school by making cards,divas and creating rangoli patterns. We had a whole special lunch that even our parents/carers were invited to. Gold class entertained us with a great assembly, full of great acting, dancing and lots of information.