This coming Sunday, November 3rd, marks the start of
one of the most important holidays in the Indian calendar: Diwali.
Known varyingly as Deepavali and the Festival of Lights, Diwali
roughly translates to "rows of lighted lamps," and is celebrated
amongst Hindus, Jains, and other religious groups.
The holiday is renowned across the world as one of India's most
beautiful and picturesque celebrations. Colourful lanterns and
fireworks light up the evening sky around the country, while
families prepare at-home altars and rangoli(decorative floor
designs), exchange gifts and sweets, and light firecrackers to
drive off evil spirits. Celebrating the triumph of good over evil,
different regions of India use the holiday to honour a number of
deities - the goddess Lakshmi is celebrated in Gujarat, while
northern India celebrates Rama's return from exile and his triumph
over Ravana and Tamil Nadu commemorates Krishna.
Diwali fireworks over Delhi ©
Colourful Lanters for Diwali ©
Diwali Candles ©
A rangoli (floor design) in
South India © iStock/Thinkstock
Fireworks through an old gate ©
Diwali sparklers ©
Colourful Candles ©