|| Diwali Festival is also called the Festival of Lights. Diwali is the name for the festival in North-India. In odisha the festival is called Deepavali. Deepabali is celebrated on Kartik Amavasya. It marks the days on which Rama returned to Ayodhya, after completing his 14 years exile, with Sita, Laxman and Hanuman Earthen lamps (deepa) and fire crackers are lit on the occasion. A rangoli is drawn in front of households, usually depicting a seven-chambered sailboat.
Diwali is celebrated with great joy. Rows of oil lamps, candles adorn the thresholds of all houses. Firecrackers are burst, sweetmeals are relished and distributed. Some people also worship family goddess. Tarpanam is done in the morning of diwali. All the members of the household gather together just after dusk. Over the central chamber are the offerings meant for prasad. Perched over the prasad is a jute stem (kaunria kathi) with a cloth wick tied around the edge. It is lit at the beginning of the puja. All members of the family hold a bundle of jute stems in their hands. Lighting their respective bundles from the flame on the rangoli, they raise them skywards chanting the following verse.
Bada badua ho,
ananda re aasa,
alua re jaa.
Baaisi pahaacha re gada gadu thaa.
come to us in this dark evening,
we light your way to heaven.
May you attain salvation on the 22 steps of the Jagannath temple of Puri.
After the puja and offerings, the family celebrates Diwali festival by bursting firecrackers. As in other regions, most people prefer to celebrate it in their own homes, though family gatherings are also common. For Diwali houses are brightly lit, with the doors and windows kept open as Lakshmi is supposed to visit every home, and you can't afford to leave it dark and abandoned. Various kinds of Pithas are prepared and given to the deities and forefathers, and enjoyed with family and friends. On Diwali night, many parts of Orissa celebrate Kali Puja, particularly in Puri, Bhadrak, Rourkela, Cuttack & Jajpur area.