Today marks the start of Diwali or Deepavali, which is known as the ancient Hindu"festival of lights." This five day festival is one of the most important celebrations in Indian culture! It is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and other groups around the world. The festival is filled with fireworks, candles, prayers, and several events. Lamps that are known as "diyas," brighten homes, shops, and places of worship to symbolize the start of a new Hindu year and to acknowledge the return of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman to Ayodhya after 14 years of isolation.

Courtesy of Forbes

The overall message, regardless of religious practices, is the celebration of good conquering evil or the victory of light over darkness. In general, people wear new clothing, buy gifts and gold, decorate their hands with henna, light candles, dance, and pray. In fact, it is known as India's biggest shopping event of the year! During Diwali, people spend time with friends and their families, while exchanging gifts. Diwali is actually a huge festival in England as well, being the second largest minority population in Britain.

Courtesy of The Independent- Trafalger Square

Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating around the world and spending time with loved ones during this bright and lively festival! By: Alaina Pawlowicz

By: Alaina Pawlowicz

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