The word Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali and literally translated means a row of lights. For this reason, the Diwali festival is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Lights.
The sentiments behind the Diwali festival, is that all darkness, i.e. ignorance, worldly desires and thoughts should be removed from within us and replaced with the light, the divinity of the Lord. Lamps are symbolic of truth and knowledge of the Lord. Therefore lamps are lit everywhere allowing us to remember and reflect on the true purpose of this festival period.
The Diwali festival lasts for 5 consecutive days. Each day has a significance that was derived from various different episodes of Hindu legends. Depending on the region of India, these legends will vary. However the essence behind each story is the abolishment and conquering of evil, replaced by the establishment of good.
Diwali and New Year were celebrated on 3rd and 4th of November 2013 in the presence of His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree in Maninagar. Temples around the world also celebrated the Diwali festival.