Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali, popularly known as the "festival of lights", is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November for different reasons. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.
Its a festival celebrated mostly by Hindus, sikhs, jains and buddhists.But most other communities also join in, I can see the Parsi family next door up with their light decorations, and the loudest crackers here are burst by a Christian family.It is more about having fun here.The importance of diwali here is comparable to that of Eid, with feasts and sweets made generously.The hindus celebrate it mark the arrival of Prince Rama from exile, and also for the defeat of Narakasura at the hands of Lord Krishna. It is also associated with the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi and this day is marked by buying gold, land, costly things like cars etc.We put up these lights and lamps on our homes, and burst firecrakers in the evening.The sikhs also celebrate it fervently, this coincides with the freeing of one of their Gurus from prison.