When I was young and people asked me what Diwali was I explained it as the Indian Christmas, sometimes I still do although the concepts are very different. Diwali also known as "Deepavali" literally translated means a row of lamps. It is our Festival of Light celebrating the return of Lord Ram after he defeats Ravan and brings back his wife Sita after 14 years of exile.
It's celebrated with a great amount of fanfare, spending time with family, exchanging sweets, rangoli designs, and LOTS of fireworks. Because today it is pouring some of this won't happen but I am definitely looking forward to dressing up and spending my evening with family!
I'll leave you with a few pictures I found online...We have google safe search on at work so I'll try to update later from home with others...
From our family to your Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak!!! (Happy New Year)