As Hindus all over the world celebrate Diwali or Deepavali, which signifies victory of good over evil or of light over darkness, world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and The Vatican have sent in wishes to everyone celebrating the festival.
Diwali or the festival of light is celebrated with great pomp and show, especially in India with people lighting up their houses, burst firecrackers, shop, exchange sweets and wish loved ones with messages of love and good wishes. Diwali 2014 falls on Thursday, 23 October.
Obama, who became the first US president to celebrate the festival of lights in 2009, has sent Diwali wishes to everyone celebrating the featival in a video message.
"I want to wish a Happy Diwali to all those who are celebrating the festival of lights here in the United States and around the world. For Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, lighting the lamp—the diya—is a chance to remember, even in the midst of darkness, that light will ultimately prevail," he said.
"Diwali is also a reminder that we must each do our part to achieve that victory, by dedicating ourselves to service to others. If we affirm our commitments to one another and strive to lift each other up, then together, we will continue moving closer to that brighter future we all seek," he added.
Obama went on to say that he was proud to host the first Diwali celebration at the White House back in 2009 have been continuing to mark this holiday to honor the rich traditions that define the American family. He also said that "I know Michelle and I will never forget the wonderful time we had celebrating Diwali in Mumbai with food, dancing, and the company of friends."
"So, to all the families gathering together this Diwali to reflect on all the blessings of the past year, I wish you a joyous celebration and Saal Mubarak," he said.
The Vatican or the office of Pope Francis, spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, has also released a message wishing Hindus around the world a "Happy Deepavali 2014."
"As Hindus worldwide celebrate Deepavali or Diwali, the festival of lights, on October 23, the Vatican has called on Hindus, Christians, followers of other religions and people of good to foster together a culture of inclusion for a just and peaceful society," said the message from the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
"The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue joyfully greets all of you on the festive occasion of Deepavali, celebrated on 23 October this year. May the Transcendent Light illumine your hearts, homes and communities, and may all your celebrations deepen the sense of belonging to one another in your families and neighbourhoods, and so further harmony and happiness, peace and prosperity," it added.
The Vatican also highlighted the theme "Fostering together a culture of 'inclusion'", stressing that nurturing it "can be rightly seen as one of the most genuine aspirations of people everywhere" at a time when discrimination, violence and exclusion is rampant around the world.
"...may we, Hindus and Christians, join together with followers of other religions and with people of good will to foster a culture of inclusion for a just and peaceful society," it said, adding, "We wish you all a Happy Deepavali!"