The start of the Diwali Festival is today and lasts tll the 17th November.
The Diwali Festival is also called the "Festival of Lights". Diwali is the name for the festival in North-India. In South-India the festival is called "Deepavali".
Diwali celebrates the victory of the Good over the Evil and Light over Darkness. It has a major religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains alike - not only in India, but also for Indians living abroad. In the western calendar, Diwali falls on a day in October or November every year - just after the monsoon season in India. The exact date varies and is calculated based on the Hindu Luni-Solar calendar (according to the positions of the Sun and the Moon). The day of Diwali falls on Ashvina Amavasya (the lunar day of new moon) on 15 Ashvin (Hindu month). This date also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, and many businesses in India starting a new accounting year on the Diwali holiday.
Diwali is a festival over 5 days. They hang colorful lanterns and fairy lights, enjoying firework displays or blasting firecrackers. It is said that on the fourth day Krishna defeated the god of rain and the heavens on that day. He lifted Mount Govardhana to save people's life from the floods. On this day people cook mountains of food resembling Mount Govardhana.
It is also common to send Diwali greeting cards to family members, relatives and friends. Recently however it is becoming more popular to send Diwali eCards or Diwali SMS. Diwali Mela (Fairs) take place not only in India, but in many countries in the world.