Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is celebrated in India and across the globe by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains as the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali signifies the beginning of the Hindu New Year and honors goddess Lakshmi with lights, fireworks and gifts to loved ones. Here are five reasons we Diwali celebrations every year – see if you agree!

1) Diwali is told in the other Hindu epic, the “Mahabharata.”

In the Mahabharata, the five royal brothers Pandavas are shown losing to their brother Kaurava in a game of dice (gambling). The Pandavas were forced to follow a rule requiring 13 years of exile. When the time was up, they brought the ‘Kartik Amavasya’ home to his Hastinapura (new moon day of the Kartik month). All their subjects worshiped the five Pandavas brothers, the mother and the bride Draupadi for their sincerity, kindness, kindness and compassion. To celebrate the auspicious occasion of homecoming and welcome them back again, brightly colored lights were lit up across the state. The celebration of Diwali, which many believe marks the return of the Pandavas, is believed to keep the custom alive.

2) To welcome Lord Rama, his brother Lakshmana, and wife Sita back to Ayodhya

During Rama’s 14-year exile, his wife Sita was abducted by demon king Ravana. After a long battle between Rama and Ravana, Sita was rescued and returned to her husband in Ayodhya. But after a brief period of happiness, Lakshmanha, Sita’s brother-in-law accused her of infidelity and banished her from Ayodhya. Lord Rama then waged war against Lanka (the island where Ravana lived) and defeated him. In honor of Lord Rama’s victory over evil, we light up lamps or diyas on Diwali night.

3) To thank Goddess Laxmi, wife of Lord Vishnu, who bestows prosperity on earth

By praying to goddess Lakshmi Puja, we are thanking her for showering us with wealth and prosperity. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to be Lord Vishnu’s consort and symbolizes wealth. As one of the Nav Durga (nine forms) in Hinduism, she is seen as a symbol for power that helps people hold their own against evil forces. She represents beauty and fertility, but also stands for courage and strength. She is often depicted holding lotus flowers in her hands or wearing gold jewellery. To thank God Rama: It was on Diwali night that Lord Rama killed Ravana, who had abducted his wife Sita from Ayodhya after winning a game of dice with Rama’s father Dasharatha.

4) To celebrate the triumph of good over evil

One of Hinduism’s most important religious festivals, Diwali pooja is all about celebrating good triumphing over evil. In a ritual called Lakshmi Puja, gifts are given to children and loved ones in honor of one of Hinduism’s main deities: Goddess Lakshmi. It is also customary for families to light small clay lamps in her honor during celebrations.  During Diwali, Hindus take time out from their daily lives to reflect on what they have done well that year and what they can do better in coming years. They remember those who have passed away by making charitable donations in their names or visiting their family members’ gravesites.

5) To distribute sweets among friends and family

Lakshmi Puja is one of many reasons we celebrate Diwali, also known as Festival of Lights. This festival marks five special occasions: New Year’s Eve, Lakshmi Puja, Ganesha Chaturthi, Deepavali (Diwali), and Bhai Dooj. In Hinduism alone, there are at least three different stories about where these festivities came from. Some believe it was started by Lord Rama, others say it was a gift from Lord Krishna to his wife Satyabhama. However you choose to celebrate—and however you choose to explain its origins—Diwali is a time for family, friends, good food and plenty of sweets!