Diwali, often referred to as the Festival of Lights, is the most glamorous and the most important occasion in India. People of every religion enthusiastically embrace it. In the Greater Toronto Area, there are over 400,000 South Asians that celebrate Diwali.
The story of Diwali is an ancient one, and differs depending on the various regions and states of India. Diwali is the day when King Rama’s coronation was celebrated in Ayodhya after his epic war with Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. By order of the royal families of Ayodhya and Mithila, the kingdom of which Sita was a princess, the cities and far-flung boundaries of these kingdoms were lit up with rows of lamps. These lamps glittered on dark nights to welcome home the divine king Rama and his queen Sita after 14 years of exile, ending an across-the-seas war in which the whole of the kingdom of Lanka was destroyed.