Wishing everyone out in blogosphere a very Happy Diwali!
Diwali is a festival of lights and as I write this, my home is all lit up. I've got diyas, tealight candles and some pretty lights on, along with normal tubelights.
There are a couple of mythological reasons behind Diwali. Mostly in North India, it is celebrated as the return of Lord Rama, back to Ayodhya after his 14 year banishment. Dusshera was the day he vanquished King Ravana and it took him the next two weeks or so to reach his home in Ayodhya. Hence the population of the city lit lamps all around their homes to welcome him. In the South, it is mostly celebrated as Naraka Chaturthi where Lord Krishna defeats the demon Narakasura. Wikipedia has some more details of how Diwali or Deepavali is celebrated across India and Nepal.
Usually we wake up before sunrise, and go to the prayer room. Then my mother (and now me) will put oil on everyone (minimum the hair, and maximum all over the body). Then bath and prayers where new clothes are given. After some coffee and breakfast, it's time to burst crackers. These crackers are supposed to dispel evil as well as let the Gods above us know that all is well in Earth. After this it's time go to the temple, take the blessings of the elders and followed by a scrumptious lunch. Then the oil bath in the morning along with waking up early makes you sleepy, so a siesta is in order. That pretty much sums up what we do in Diwali in our family.