• Earthen lamps (diyas) are used during Diwali, the annual festival of lights, to decorate homes lamps.          Reuters
  • The festival begins with Dhanteras, the day of buying new things especially made up of metalsReuters
  • Hindu people celebrate the festival by lighting up oil lampsReuters
  • Hindu women arrange oil lamps and flowers around a "Rangoli", a traditional pattern made from coloured powders, during the celebrations of DiwaliReuters
  • In most Hindu families, people worship Goddess Lakshmi.Reuters
  • On this auspicious day, each and every house will look bright celebrating the festival of lightsReuters
  • The sweet shops will be serving the best and delicious sweets on this dayReuters
  • A vendor hangs a lantern for sale at a Diwali market . Hindus decorate their homes and places of worship with flowers and lights during DiwaliReuters
  • Hindu devotees gather to offer prayers on the banks of river Ganges during the Karthik Purnima festival on the occasion of Dev Deepawali at Dasasumerghat in the northern Indian city of Varanasi. Dev Deepawali is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali, on the full moon day in the month of Karthik (also known as Karthik Purnima) in a tribute to river Ganges by the Hindu devotees of Varanasi.Reuters
  • Children lights up crackers to celebrate the festivalReuters
  • People ignite fireworks during Diwali celebrationsReuters
  • The festival of joy and love automatically fills light everywhereReuters

Diwali or Deepavali is one of the biggest festivals in India. Known as the festival of lights, it is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated both in and outside the country.

The festival generally begins with Dhanteras, the day of buying new things - especially made up of metals, and it comes two days before Diwali. The festival ends two days after Diwali, which is known as the symbol of brother-sister relationship - Bhai Dooj.

Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. The festival starts after 18 days of Dussehra. After killing Ravana, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshman, and Diwali commemorates their return.

It is also believed that the day symbolises the marriage of Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. In Jainism, it signifies the event when Lord Mahavira conquered the eternal bliss of nirvana.

On the other hand, Bengalis worships the dark goddess of strength - Maa Kali - on this day. Even Lord Ganesha is worshipped by most Hindus.

This year, the festival of lights falls on 23 October. People have already started preparations, from making sweets to decorating their homes, while children have started collecting their favourite kind of crackers.

The festival of joy and love automatically fills light everywhere. From online to street shops, the markets are full of Diwali offers. It is the time to buy new things for yourself and your loved ones.

Check out the slideshow on the festival of lights.

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