Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is celebrated by the Hindu population in Sri Lanka during October/November. It also marks the beginning of the Hindu year as per the Lunar Calendar, and is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. It is the festival of lights and symbolizes warding off darkness and shadows from one's life. Its origins can be traced back to Lord Rama's victory over King Ravana of Sri Lanka - a victory of good over evil, and symbolic of the triumph of knowledge over darkness. Fireworks and lamps are lit in celebration and hope, and new clothes are donned. Gifts are exchanged, rituals are done and traditional sweetmeats shared with close friends, relatives and family during Deepavali. Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is paid homage to. Deepavali is preceded by a busy shopping season as people buy gifts and clothes to celebrate the festival of lights.