“Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali” or Divali, which translates into “row of lamps”. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. The story behind Divali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying Reality of all things (Brahman). Diwali marks the attainment of moksha, nirvana or liberation by Mahavirain 527 BC.
Lakshmi symbolises shakti energy, wealth and prosperity. Her aim is the upliftment of mankind. She is acknowledged on the 4th day of the 5 day celebration that marks the end of the harvest season in most of India. Farmers give thanks for the bounty of the year gone by, and pray for a good harvest for the year to come. Traditionally this marked the closing of accounts for businesses dependent on the agrarian cycle, and is the last major celebration before winter.