A major pan-Indian festival celebrated around the day of the new moon in October–November (bridging the months of Āśvina and Kārttika), lasting from two to five days. Its name is derived from the characteristic lighting of rows of small oil lamps, placed in houses, temples, and on rivers to dispel the darkness on the night preceding the new moon. Various rationales are given for this practice, and there are numerous regional variations, but the general theme is one of renewal, and it may have begun as a fertility festival at the end of the rainy season. The festival, especially the lighting of the lamps itself, is now most widely connected with the return of Rāma and Sītā to Ayodhyā at the end of their exile, and thus the restoration of divine order and light over demonic disorder and darkness. It is also closely associated with Lakṣmī, the auspicious goddess of wealth, good fortune, and household prosperity, especially amongst the traders and business people of western India, for whom the festival marks the beginning of the new financial year. In modern India, Divālī is a major commercial festival as well, accompanied by the exchange of gifts and ubiquitous firework displays.