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October 23, 2009

Diwali 2009

October 17th marked the celebration of Diwali among Hindus and other groups around the world. Diwali is also known as the "Festival of Lights" (the name translates as "row of lamps" in Sanskrit). The festival marks the homecoming of Hindu God Rama to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest following his victory over Ravana, and signifies the victory of good over evil, of light over darkness. Celebrants observe Diwali with fireworks, colorful lanterns, lamps, garlands, sweet treats and worship. Collected here are a handful of photographs of Diwali this year. (33 photos total)

Schoolgirl Bhargavi, 7, arranges garlands made from marigold flowers at a roadside stall on the eve of the Hindu festival of Diwali in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad October 16, 2009. Flowers are offered to Hindu gods and goddesses on the occasion of Diwali, the annual festival of lights that was celebrated across the country on Saturday, October 17th. (REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder)

A worker's hands are covered with gunpowder as she fills cardboard cylinders at a firecracker factory on the outskirts of the eastern Indian city of Siliguri October 9, 2009. Firecrackers are in great demand ahead of Diwali. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri) #

An Indian potter makes earthen lamps for the Diwali festival, in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009. People buy the earthen lamps to decorate their homes during celebrations of Diwali. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

A potter makes clay lamps for Diwali in Mumbai, India on October 9, 2009. (REUTERS/Arko Datta) #

An artisan paints an earthen lamp at a workshop before Diwali in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata October 6, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw) #

Volunteers work inside a candle and lamp making workshop at a blind school ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in New Delhi, India on October 8, 2009. (REUTERS/Parth Sanyal) #

A rickshaw puller passes in front of unfinished idols of Hindu goddess Kali outside a workshop in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata October 14th, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw) #

An artisan applies finishing touches to an idol of Hindu Goddess Kali at a workshop in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata on October 12th, 2009. Idols of the Hindu goddess of power Kali are worshipped during the annual Hindu festival of lights, Diwali. (REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw) #

A girl carrying a child walks past clay sculptures kept on display at a roadside shop ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in New Delhi, India on October 16th, 2009. (REUTERS/Parth Sanyal) #

A woman colors clay lamps for Diwali in Mumbai, India on October 15th, 2009. (REUTERS/Arko Datta) #

A boy arranges handmade lamp shades at a shop before the Diwali festival in Hyderabad, India on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A) #

A policeman stands guard as thousands throng a market on the last Sunday ahead of Diwali, in Ahmadabad, India on October 11th, 2009. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) #

A child sits near idols of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, on the eve of Diwali in Hyderabad, India, Friday, Oct. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.) #

A Malaysian of Hindu faith, Thevamalar Nadarajah, 12, recites a prayer during Diwali celebrations at a temple in Kuala Lumpur October 17, 2009. The Hindu community, which consists of 7 percent or 1.82 million out of Malaysia's 26 million population, on Saturday celebrated Diwali. Hindus decorate their homes and places of worship with lamps or candles during Diwali (locally known as Deepavali) which literally means "rows of lights". (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad) #

Fireworks light up the sky in celebration of Diwali in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Oct.17, 2009. Diwali was celebrated across India on Saturday with prayers and fireworks. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) #

Children watch fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali in New Delhi, India on October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

Children wave sparklers at night, during Diwali in New Delhi, India on October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

Hindu worshippers pray during the festival of Diwali at Shivm Kovi temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds) #

U.S. President Barack Obama lights a traditional oil lamp as Sri Narayanachar Digalakote, Hindu Priest from the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Maryland, chants in observance of Diwali, in the East Room at the White House October 14, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama signed an executive order restoring the White House Advisory Commission and Interagency Working Group, which addresses issues concerning the Asian American and Pacific Islander community during the ceremony. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) #

Jagdish Capoor, non executive chairman of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) makes an offering to the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) prior to a special holiday trading session on the occasion of Diwali, inside the BSE in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009. Brokers and investors at the BSE made token stock purchases during a one-hour trading session on Diwali. (Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg) #

In this long-exposure photograph, two girls spin sparklers in the air on October 15th, 2009, ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in Ahmadabad, India. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) #

Onlookers stand beside lit earthen lamps during celebrations on the eve of the Hindu festival of Diwali in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh October 16, 2009. (REUTERS/Ajay Verma) #

A devotee lights a lamp at Akshardham temple during celebrations to mark the annual Hindu festival of Diwali at Gandhinagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Amit Dave) #

Children decorate their front yard with lamps as they celebrate Diwali at the Sanatan Dharm Children's Home in Paramaribo, Suriname on October 17, 2009. Hindus decorate their homes and places of worship with lamps or candles during Diwali which was celebrated on Saturday by 20 percent of Suriname's population that are of Indian origin. (REUTERS/Ranu Abhelakh (SURINAME SOCIETY RELIGION) #

A priest watches worshippers during the festival of Diwali at Shivm Kovi temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds) #

A girl lights an earthen lamp during celebrations on the eve of the Hindu festival of Diwali in the eastern Indian city of Siliguri October 16, 2009. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri) #

An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights a candle inside a bunker on the occasion of the Hindu festival of Diwali, at the India-Bangladesh border on the outskirts of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Dey) #

A boy lights fireworks on the Hindu festival of Diwali in New Delhi October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers light candles to celebrate Diwali, at the India-Bangladesh border on the outskirts of the eastern Indian city of Siliguri October 17, 2009. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri) #

People set off fireworks outside their home in celebration of Diwali in Bangalore, India, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi) #

A woman prepares earthen lamps to be put in and around her house, during Diwali, the festival of lights, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Oct.17, 2009. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) #

A boy dressed as Hindu Lord Krishna participates in the annual procession on the eve of Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, in Paramaribo, Suriname on October 16, 2009. (REUTERS/Ranu Abhelakh) #

A woman lights an earthen lamp during the celebrations on the eve of the Hindu festival of Diwali in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad October 16, 2009. (REUTERS/Amit Dave) #

 
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