Diwali (also known as Deepawali), or the festival of lights is perhaps the most popular of all Hindu festivals. Like most festivals, Diwali has its mythological and historical bedrock. Legend has it that Hanuman (the legendary monkey-god and prime devotee of Lord Rama, the god-hero of the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana) delivered the much awaited message of Ramas return to Ayodhya (Ramas kingdom) after 14 years in exile. The entire kingdom rejoiced upon hearing the news and Ayodhya was washed, cleansed and dressed up with lights and shimmering earthen lamps to welcome the Lord himself. Diwali is celebrated even today to commemorate this event.