Photo Credit To Devotees light masses of twinkling 'diyas', earthenware oil lamps, on the banks of the River Sarayu as part of Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya, India. Ayodhya is believed to be the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram. Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated in honour of the return of Ram and his wife Sita to Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years. [Nadeem Khan/AP Photo]
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.
Members of an Indian Hindu family light earthen lamps on a rangoli, a hand decorated pattern on the floor, as part of Diwali festivities in Ahmedabad, India. [Ajit Solanki/AP Photo]
Indian customers look at decorative items ahead of the Diwali festival at a roadside stall in Amritsar. [Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images]
A devotee lights oil lamps at a religious ceremony during the Diwali festival at a Hindu temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. [Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]
A woman picks marigold flowers used to make garlands and offer prayers, before selling them to the market for the Tihar festival, also known as Diwali, in Kathmandu, Nepal. [Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]
Nikitha places small ‘diyas’ at the entrance of her home on the eve of the Diwali festival in Hyderabad, India. [Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images]
An Indian vendor displays sweets for sale for the festival of lights, Diwali, in Allahabad, India. [Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP Photo]