Diwali, meaning ‘Festival of Lights,’ is the most widely celebrated festival in India. Not only Hindus observe Diwali but also Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. The central theme is derived from the epic Ramayana, but the festival also marks the Hindu New Year’s Eve.
After defeating the tyrant Ravana, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and all the monkey warriors triumphantly returned to the city of Ayodhya so that Rama could claim the throne. When they returned in a flying chariot covered with flowers, it was a dark moon night. The Ayodhya residents, therefore, lit the way for the returning troops by burning lamps, candles, and fires along the route. In Ayodhya, they were greeted with millions of lights and fireworks. On this day, devotees remember how light will always triumph over darkness.
During Diwali, people have elaborate firework displays and light lamps. They exchange gifts, distribute Indian sweets, decorate their homes, and purchase new clothes for the family. At New Vrindaban, all these festivities are observed, as well as drama, dance, and worshiping the Lord elaborately.