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November 21, 2012

Diwali 2012: Festival of Lights

Hindus worldwide recently celebrated Diwali, a five-day "festival of lights" that marks the new year and honors the principle of good over evil. One Diwali ritual is honoring Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. The occasion is also celebrated with fireworks, the sharing of sweets and gifts, and by decorating homes with lights and candles. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.-- Lloyd Young EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no post on Friday.)( 42 photos total)

A reveler lights a bottle rocket at a park during Diwali, the “festival of lights”, in Kolkata on Nov. 13. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and commemorates the time when Hindu God Lord Rama achieved victory over Ravana and returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images)

An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier lights a candle inside a bunker as part of Diwali celebrations at the India-Bangladesh border on the outskirts of Agartala, India, on Nov. 13. Diwali, the “festival of lights” dedicated to the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi, is being celebrated across the country Tuesday. (Sushanta Das/Associated Press) #

Indian girls hold earthen lamps on the occasion of Dhanteras, ahead of the Diwali festival in Bhopal, India late night on Nov. 11. The word 'Dhan' means wealth and the day before the Diwali festival has a great importance for the Hindu community in western and central India. Dhanteras is also the first day of the five-day Diwali festival as celebrated in parts of north India. (Sanjeev Gupta/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Indian children play with firecrackers during Diwali in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. Diwali, the “festival of lights” dedicated to the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi, is being celebrated across the country Tuesday. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

People light earthen lamps in a formation to form the shape of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, on the eve of Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on Nov. 12. The letters in Hindi language reads, "Happy Diwali". (Ajay Verma/Reuters) #

Dancer Vimi Solanki waits to perform on stage as Lord Krishna during the Hindu festival of Diwali on Nov. 13 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Up to 35,000 people attended the Diwali "festival of lights" in Leicester's Golden Mile in the heart of the city's asian community. The festival is an opportunity for Hindus to honor Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and other gods. Leicester's celebrations are one of the biggest in the world outside India. Sikhs and Jains also celebrate Diwali. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

Widows gather around a tulsi plant and light oil lamps to celebrate Diwali at a rest house run by a devotee in Bhubaneswar, India, on Nov. 13. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press) #

Members of a global youth organization, AISEC, celebrate the Diwali festival with glowing sky lanterns to promote eco friendly Diwali in Calcutta, India, on Nov. 9. (Piyal Adhikary/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Indians light candles during the festival of Diwali outside a Sikh Gurudwara or temple in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

A firecracker lights up the sky as candles and lamps are seen lit across a field ahead of Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, in Allahabad, India, on Nov. 12. (Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press) #

Pakistani Hindu revelers wave sparklers on the occasion of Diwali in Karachi on Nov. 13. Diwali, the “festival of lights”, is celebrated with jubilation and enhusiasm as one of the biggest Hindu festivals. People decorate their homes with flowers and Diyas (earthen lamps), celebrate the homecoming of the God Ram after vanquishing the demon king Ravana and honor the Hindu goddess of wealth Lakshmi. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images) #

A temple caretaker recites a prayer as he prepares to open the temple for a prayer session during Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, in Banting, outside Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 13. The Hindu community, which makes up 8 percent of Malaysia's 28 million population, celebrates Diwali, known locally as Deepavali by decorating their homes and visiting places of worship. (Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters) #

A girl decorates the entrance of her home with earthen lamps and colored powder during the Diwali festival in Kolkata, India, on Nov. 13. (Bikas Das/Associated Press) #

A Nepalese flower vendor puts burning insence amidst marigold garalands for the good luck at a local market for the Diwali festival also known as Tihar in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Nov. 13. The Tihar festival is the second major festival for Nepalese Hindus. (Narendra Shrestha/European Pressphoto Agency) #

An Indian woman makes laterns on the roadside for sale at a market ahead of the Diwali festival in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 8. (Divyakant Solanki/European Pressphoto Agency) #

An Indian potter makes earthen lamps for the upcoming Diwali festival in Allahabad, India, on Nov. 9. During the festival, Hindus light lamps to signify the victory of good over evil, wear new clothes, give gifts, and sweets and offer prayers to goddess Lakshmi. (Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press) #

An Indian potter carries earthen lamps on her head as another paints them ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali on the outskirts of Jammu, India, on Nov. 6. (Channi Anand/Associated Press) #

An Indian vendor selling marigold flowers waits for customers during the Diwali festival in the Old Quarters of New Delhi on Nov. 13. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images) #

Inmate Ramesh Kumar packs candles in boxes after making them for the Hindu festival of Diwali, inside Kot Bhalwal jail, on the outskirts of Jammu on Nov. 7. Jail authorities have initiated many programs like candle making for inmates to train themselves in job-related work and reforming their inner selves to be responsible in life, jail superintendent Rajni Sehgal said on Wednesday. (Mukesh Gupta/Reuters) #

An Indian clay artist, Yadav Pal, works with an unfinished idol of Goddess Kali at Kumartuly in Calcutta, India, on Nov. 8. Kali, the Goddess of Power, will be worshiped during Diwali festival celebrated on Nov. 13. (Piyal Adhikary/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A young Indian boy sells small deities of the goddess Lakshmi and the god Ganesha during the festival of Diwali in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

Food is placed on the main stage as Sadhus and Hindu men celebrate Diwali at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on Nov. 14 in London, England. Diwali, which marks the start of the Hindu New Year, is being celebrated by thousands of Hindu men women and children in the Neasden mandir, which was the first traditional Hindu temple to open in Europe. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #

An Indian trader worships an iPad and electronic gadgets including laptops and mobile phones on Diwali, the “festival of lights” at the office in New Delhi on Nov. 13. Since ages, the worshipping of account books has been an essential part of Diwali for the business community in India for prosperity of business. Signifying the modernization of the retail trade in India, some traders are now including the worshipping of electronic gadgets. The festival of Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Nepalese Hindu woman worships and offers fruit to a cow, regarded as an incarnation of the Hindu Goddess of prosperity Laxmi, during the Tihar (Diwali) festival in Kathmandu on Nov. 13. Hindus across the country worship cows on the third day of the Tihar festival which commemorates the time when Hindu god Lord Rama achieved victory over Ravana and returned to his kingdom after 14 years in exile. (Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images) #

A young "Nihang" or a man whose ancestors belonged to Sikh warrior clan, exhibits his skills with two swords as plays "Gatka", a form of Sikh martial art during a religious procession called Mohalla in Amritsar, India, on Nov. 14. The procession is carried out a day after the Diwali festival to mark the Bandi Chorh Diwas the day when Guru Hargobind the sixth Guru or the Master of the Sikhs reached Amritsar after his release from Gwalior fort during the reign of Mughal emperor Jahangir. Each year members of various major Nihang groups display their martial arts and horse riding skills during the Mohalla procession. (Raminder Pal Singh/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Two wrestlers fight during an amateur wrestling match inside a makeshift ring built on a road junction in Kolkata on Nov. 14. Wrestling matches are organized by local residents as part of the celebrations for the annual Hindu festival of Diwali. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters) #

Schoolgirls watch an actor dressed as the Disney character Cinderella perform at an event in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 8. The event was organized for Disney princess fans from impoverished families to mark Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”. (Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press) #

A Sri Lankan Hindu offers prayers during Diwali, the “festival of lights” at a Hindu temple in Colombo on Nov. 13. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images) #

People hold candles during a mass gathering to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad on Nov. 13. (Amit Dave/Reuters) #

A young Indian girl covers her ear as she is assisted by an adult to play with firecrackers during Diwali celebrations in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

An Indian man stands on his bicycle rickshaw after placing candles on it for good luck and fortune during the festival of Diwali in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

A girl lights candles inside a cricket ground on the eve of Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad on Nov. 12. (Jitendra Prakash/Reuters) #

People walk in a alley illuminated by colorful lights ahead of Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, in Mumbai on Nov. 12. Hindus decorate their homes and places of worship with flowers during the festival. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #

Houses decorated with electric lights on the eve of Diwali, the “festival of lights” in Calcutta, India, on Nov. 12. During Diwali, the entire house is cleaned and new clothes are purchased for the whole family, followed by lighting oil lamps around the house and setting off firecrackers. (Piyal Adhikary/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A homeless Indian man prepares to sleep on the pavement surrounded by candles lit by a local merchant in front of a shop during the festival of Diwali in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

A Pakistani Hindu girl holds an earthen lamp while decorating an area of her house to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights” on Nov. 13 in Karachi, Pakistan. Hindus across the country celebrated Diwali, where people decorate their homes with light and set off firecrackers. (Shakil Adil/Associated Press) #

An Indian boy lights candles in front of his family's business during the festival of Diwali in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

An Indian Hindu woman holds a tray filled with earthen lamps and steps out of her door during Diwali in New Delhi, India. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

Lamps are lit near the sacred pond of the illuminated Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines on the occasion of the Diwali festival and Bandi Chorh Diwas in Amritsar, India, on Nov. 13. Devotees started to visit the Golden Temple from pre-dawn hours to seek blessings on Diwali festival which coincides with the Bandi Chorh Diwas and is celebrated at the Golden Temple to mark the return of Guru Hargobind the sixth Guru or the Master of the Sikhs to Amritsar after his release from Gwalior fort during the reign of Mughal emperor Jahangir. (Raminder Pal Singh/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Pakistani Hindu revelers light earthen lamps during Diwali in Karachi on Nov. 13. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Indian Hindu boy lights firecrackers in a small alleyway during Diwali celebrations in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 13. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

An Indian plays with firecrackers during Diwali, the “festival of lights”, in Mumbai on Nov. 13. Diwali, the “festival of lights”, is dedicated to the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi. (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press) #




 
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