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Diwali: The festival of lights

Diwali, a national holiday in India, is also celebrated by a number of other countries around the world.

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is the biggest festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists around the world.

People from all walks of life decorate their homes with "diyas", earthenware oil lamps, and candles.

Also known as Deepavali in India, the five-day festival is celebrated to commemorate the return of Ram, the lord of virtue, to his kingdom after 14 years of exile.

For many in India, it also marks the end of the harvest season and is the chance to give thanks to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.

While the story behind Diwali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region, the festival is celebrated to remember that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.

Ayodhya, India.
Members of an Indian Hindu family
Indian customers
A devotee lights oil lamps
A woman picks marigold flowers
Nikitha places small 'diyas'
Indian vendor
man makes earthen lamps

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