The festival of Diwali is a wonderful cultural unifier in India, having great regional significance.

Regional Significance of Diwali

Diwali is a wonderful joyous string of twinkling diyas that binds the diverse land of India together. Often known as the land of festivals, Diwali is certainly the star festival of India. It brings with it lots of good cheer, sense of wellbeing and vivacity across the nation. Although one can find various regional diversities in the celebrations and rituals related to this festival, but the underlying theme is that good shall always prevail over evil and the darkness of ignorance can always be eradicated with illumination of knowledge. However, there are many subtle and other apparent differences in this festival's celebrations in southern and northern India.

This 'festival of lights' is usually referred to as Diwali in north India, whereas in southern India, it is generally known as Deepavali. Both these words connote the same meaning - a row of diyas. The day which is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali in north India is the day when the actual Deepavali is celebrated in southern India to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon named Narakasura. However, in the north, Diwali is celebrated on the eve of the new moon to commemorate the return of Lord Ram along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. On the day of Deepavali when Lakshmi puja is performed in northern India, this day, though not celebrated as Diwali, but is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi in south as well. Find out more regional differences in the celebration of Diwali in north and south India, with a browse through this section.

Diwali in North India
The Diwali festivities in northern India are quite extravagant and grand compared to other parts of the country. The festivities, here, continue for around five days. Deepavali is celebrated on Kartik Amavasya, a day later than in southern India, which celebrates the day of Narak Chaturdashi as Deepavali to honor the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon, Narakasura. In contrast, in the north, the festival marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after fourteen years of exile. Although Diwali is celebrated across the country but one can experience various intriguing variations in the rituals, traditions and legends associated with this festival in different parts

Diwali in South India
Exuberance, gaiety, as well as bright lights are the terms that pop up in one's mind as soon as the word Diwali is mentioned. The vibrant charming festival of Diwali converts the entire landscape of the country, be it rural or urban, in one big carnival of illumination. Though predominantly a Hindu festival, Diwali is also celebrated by Sikhs as well as Jain communities. The celebrations of Diwali are omnipresent throughout India but the fascinating regional diversities can be seen from one place to another.