Diwali–Festival of Lights–is an important five-day festival for Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism that happens somewhere between mid-October and mid-November (according to the lunisolar Hindu Calendar). Each faith has their own legends, myths and stories surrounding Diwali. But the common theme is the victory of good over evil, the passage from the darkness of ignorance into light–the indwelling light of the soul that both represents our divinity and our striving toward divinity.
The word “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali,” which translates into “row of lamps” in Sanskrit. At Diwali, people light small clay lamps–diyas or dīpas–filled with oil to signify the triumph of light. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.
Deepavali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji. But its message is of such universal appeal, it is celebrated in many more countries around the world, including the United Kingdom (pictured.