New Delhi, Nov 8: President Pratibha Patil today greeted the nation on the occasion of Diwali, which will be celebrated on Friday. In her message, she said, “On the joyous occasion of Diwali, I convey my warm greetings and good wishes to the nation." “Diwali, the festival of lights is a time for celebration when family and friends come together. Let this festival of lights inspire us to help those as yet untouched by the light of education, heath and prosperity. May this Diwali bring happiness and joy to everyone," the President added.
The day commemorates the homecoming of Lord Ram after a 14-year exile in forest. The people of Ayodhya welcomed him back by lighting up rows of lamps.
The festival, which signifies the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil, comes exactly twenty days after Dussehra.
There are several beliefs regarding the origin of festival. Hindus celebrate Diwali to mark the time when Lord Ram achieved victory over Ravana. Some also view it as the day Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura or in honour of the day Bali went to rule the nether-world, obeying the order of Vishnu.
In Jainism, it marks the nirvana of Lord Mahavira, which occurred on October 15, 527 B.C.