It is celebration time all year round for Indians but hardcore celebrations begin around September and last until November. You will find variety of food, gifts, streets dazzling with lights, crowds of people gathering to watch festive melas, (festive events, plays) held in almost every second street, people rushing through the market making their way in and out of the shops to buy presents for their loved ones, temples are decorated, festive events are held on daily basis.
During this season particularly, you will see a throng of people at sweet shops. Customers standing in cues frustratingly waiting for their turn and vendor yelling at his staff for orders. Despite a lot of hustle bustle, you find joy and warmth in your heart. This is exactly the essence of festivals!
Let me highlight some major festivals. First comes Navratri, which is a nine-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga and is mainly celebrated in northern part of India and Hindu community worldwide twice a year. Second comes Dussehra, which is a celebration of victory of good over evil. Effigies of evil called Ravana are burnt in the evening. In every corner you will see fireworks and bonfires, people indulging in food in festive events. Next comes Diwali, the festival of lights which celebrates the return of Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman after 14 years of exile. People also worship Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and light candles, diyas (a cup-shaped oil lamp made out of baked clay) to guide her way to their house.