Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated in India 21 days after Dusshera, that is when Ram killed Ravan. Diwali celebrates the return of Ram to Ayodhya after his 14 years of exile. Lamps are lit everywhere and the festival is celebrated with fireworks, symbolising all the negativity inside us burning along with them.
Ram was the son of Dasaratha’s first wife, Kausalya. Dasaratha’s second wife, Kaikeyi had a son named Bharata. When Kaikeyi saved Dasaratha’s life in battle, he granted her two boons, which she chose to use later. So when Ram was declared the new king of Ayodhya, Kaikeyi, under the influence of her chambermaid Manthra, used her two boons to declare her own son, Bharata as the king, and to send Ram into exile for 14 years. Ram respectfully listened to his father and agreed to go. His wife Sita and his brother Lakshman followed him into the forest.
In the forest, while Ram and Lakshman went hunting, Ravan the demon king captured Sita and took her with him. When Ram hears about this, he goes to find her along with Lakshman, Sugriva and the monkey god Hanuman. He finally finds Ravan at Lanka and kills him, which we celebrate as Dusshera. He then returns to Ayodhya, his exile being completed. Legend says that it took him 21 days to walk from Lanka to Ayodhya, hence Diwali is celebrated 21 days after Dusshera.
When Ram returns to Ayodhya, everyone celebrates by lighting lamps and distributing sweets, which we follow to this day. This year, Diwali falls on the 18th of October. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Diwali.