The Celebration of the Diwali Festival of Lights will begin shortly. The Indian People and their communities celebrate this Festival in recognition to victory of the Good over the Evil and Light over Darkness. It has a major religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains alike - not only in India, but also for Indians living abroad. In the western (gregorian) calendar, Diwali falls on a day in October or November every year - just after the monsoon season in India.
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Deepavali is celebrated for five days according to the Hindu Calendar. It begins in late Ashvin (between September and October) and ends in early Kartika (between October and November). The first day is Dhan Teras. The last day is Yama Dvitiya, which signifies the second day of the light half of Kartika. Each day of Deepavali marks one celebration of the six principal stories associated with the festival.
Deepavali and Diwali celebrations take place in many countries around the globe. There is a large population of over 30 million Indians living overseas. Those 'Non-Resident Indians' (NRI) and 'Persons of Indian Origin' (PIO) play an important role in many societies and enriching the cultural diversity of whole nations. The largest groups of non-resident Indians live in the USA, Canada, Nepal, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi-Arabia, South-Africa and in the United Kingdom (UK). Depending on the origin of the majority of Indians, the festival in those countries is either Diwali (most immigrants from North-India, i.e. USA/Canada/UK) or Deepavali (most immigrants from South-India such as Tamils, i.e. Malaysia/Singapore). (source: http://www.diwali2012.in/)
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