The religious connotations of the festival are varied. Elements include: the return of Rama and Sita to the land where Rama ruled as king (Ayodhya in Northern India) [India for Visitors] and a symbolic re-enactment of the killing by Rama of Ravana and the freeing of Laksmi [Grottanelli).
Small oil lamps or candles are customarily placed around the house. Sweet treats are exchanged, houses are whitewashed, new clothes worn, there's gambling, and fireworks highlight the bright light theme.
- "Nahusa in the Skies: A Human King of Heaven," by Alf Hiltebeitel; History of Religions, (1977), pp. 329-350.
- "The King's Grace and the Helpless Woman: A Comparative Study of the Stories of Ruth, Charila, Sītā," by Cristiano Grottanelli; History of Religions, (1982), pp. 1-24.
- Indian Festivals: Diwali
- Diwali: Festival of Lights - From Hinduism at About.com