Diwali/Deepaawali means an "array of lights"; Deep = lamp, Vali = array. It's one of the most glamorous & brilliant of celebrations not only in India but in various parts of the world. I certainly enjoy visiting friends, exchanging cards & of course, eating delicious Indian fare! Who doesn't love murukku eh? Plus watching beautiful lamps come to light is a simple & wonderful experience.
The legend is interesting & imparts positive values to us. There are several legends associated with Diwali (you may read about them here), the most popular is the return of Lord Rama, King ofAyodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after a 14 year exile, and a war in which he killed the demon king Ravana. It is believed that the people of Ayodhya lit oil lamps along the way to light their path in the darkness. The legend speaks of steadfastness, determination & the triumph of good over evil. Who wouldn't like a tale like that?
Deepavali for me is to visit Mr. & Mrs. Sabah, talk to them about life, eat Mrs. Sabah's truly wonderful homemade muruku & heaven knows she's a wonderful chef! It's not just the food (I swear) but also gathering & meeting with people we care about, sharing the simple things in life. I've been told to celebrate with atthan but oh well, duty calls. I definitely hope to celebrate it next year...So to all Hindus from around the globe, Happy Diwali & cheers!