The festival of light, is celebrated in th entire country including Andhra Pradesh. This festival is dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. It is celebrated by decorating house with lights and burning crackers.
Deepavali means row of lights. This festival is celebrated on the new moon day (Amavasya). It is believed that the demon Narkasura was killed on this day, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya on this day after slaying Ravana, Emperor Bali donated his kingdom to
Vamana (avtar of Vishnu) on this
day, King Vikramarka descended to his throne on this day.
The festival is celebrated with pomp and gaiety by lighting of firecrackers and lamps all around. It is believed that 14 varieties of vegetables and leaves should be used in curries on this day.
The essence of this light is Shri Lakshmi-arising, at the beginning of time, out of the waters at the churning of the Milky Ocean by gods and demons for a thousand years. Regarded as the goddess of love, beauty and prosperity,
Lakshmi, Kamla or Padma (Sanskrit words for lotus), the beloved consort of Vishnu, along with the dearly loved pot-bellied, elephant headed, auspicious god of the Hindu theogony, Siri Ganesha, is a presiding deity of the festival of lights. They are worshipped in every household so that the year may be full of prosperity. Throughout the night a lamp is kept burning before her image so that she may continue to dwell in the house and bestow upon it the wealth of life.
Every Hindu home, rich or poor, it given a spring cleaning a few days prior to the auspicious day, whitewashed and adorned in a festive way. Rows of little earthen lamps illuminate terraces and gardens, walls and courtyards, outer and inner precincts of a temple or a palace. That it was so from ancient times is borne by kings and travelers who have recorded the celebrations.
King Harsha described it as 'Dipapratipadotsava' and King Bhoja calls it 'Sukharati'
(happy night) and describes how Lakshmi was venerated and worshipped at dusk and lamps lit in her honour on roadsides and river banks, on hill and tree, in home and temple. To Jimutavahana it was the 'vow of a happy night' (Sukharatrivarta')
Another legend speaks of how Bali was deprived of his kingdom by Vishnu on this day. The good
Daitya king, through austerities and devotion, had defeated the great Indra himself. The gods thus feeling humbled appeal to Vishnu for protection. Vishnu becoming manifest in his Dwarf incarnation (Vamana) begs Bali for as much land as he (Vishnu) can over in three steps. Having obtained the boon, Vishnu covers heaven and