Diwali is essentially a festival for householders. The preparations, the rituals, the entire celebration focuses on the home and family, spanning out to cover the community as a natural extension.
TIME OF THE YEAR
The time of deepavali festival is the most comfortable period of the year as it falls in the autumn season. This festival generally falls in the month of October or November and the date in the English calendar varies as the Indian festivals are celebrated according to the Indian calendar.
The legends behind the festival are as varied as the manner of its celebration, but common to all of them is the theme of the triumph of good over evil. One such legend, the most popular one, is about a demon named Narakasura who managed to acquire such awesome powers that he began to terrorize the three worlds; his languishment and death at the hands of Krishna is celebrated as Diwali, and the day preceding the new moon in the months of Ashwin-Kartik in the Hindu calendar is known as Naraka Chaturdasi (Chaturdasi meaning the fourteenth).Another legend followed in Kamataka is that of an emperor named Bali who, likewise, had become all powerful and a threat to the peace of the universe. God is said to have come to earth in the form of a diminutive Brahmin, Vamana, and presenting himself before the mighty Bali asked for “as much land as three of my footsteps would cover.” No king could refuse a Brahmin's appeal for charity, and Bali readily granted what seemed to him a trifling request. Whereupon the diminutive Brahmin resumed his all-pervasive, omnipresent form and, covering the heavens with one foot and the world below with another, asked where he should place his foot for the third step. Bali bowed before him and offered his own head for him to place his foot on, and was pressed underfoot. This victory is observed as Bali Padya on the day of the new moon (amavasya) when the month of Ashwin (October-November) makes way for Kartik.
For the people in north India, the festival commemorates the joyous return of Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya, after 14 years exile in the forests. For the business community, particularly in the western regions of Gujarat and upper India, Diwali is a festival devoted to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. For the merchant community, in fact, the new accounting year begins with Diwali and the tradition is still followed by opening new accounting ledgers on this festive day.