The Legend -
An interesting legend is behind this festival. Narakasura, a demon, ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. Under his rule, the villagers suffered a lot of hardship as the demon tortured the people and kidnapped the women to be imprisoned in his palace. Seeing his wickedness, Lord Khrishna set out to destroy the demon and the day Narakasura died was celebrated as Deepavali, the triumph of good over evil!
At least two to three weeks before the festival preparation for Deepavali usually starts. Hindus will be busy cleaning their houses to get ready for the festival. Some would even renovate their houses. Usually the family will shop for new clothes and for accessories to decorate their homes. Indian shops will be selling festive items like Deepavali greeting cards, carpets, Punjabi suits and flowers.
The Hindus usually awake early in the morning of Deepavali around 3am and the first ritual will be having an oil bath, which is an important feature of this festival. They wear their new clothes. Most of the ladies would be clad in silk saris or Punjabi suits of various bright shades. Hindus particularly dislike dressing in black on that day, as they consider black an inauspicious color for the festival. An important practice would be to pay their respects to the elderly and most families would go to the temple after having breakfast. The houses would be decorated with oil lamps and people stay home to welcome guests who visit them.
A wide variety of delicious food will be served. Some of the popular sweets are halwa, burfi and laddu. Hindus love eating spicy food and for non-vegetarians they indulge in favorites like chicken tandoori, prawn sambal and fish head curry. Popular vegetarian dishes arw thosais, idlis and naans.