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Last updated at 11:55 GMT, Thursday, 04 November 2010

Costumes and celebrations: November

India

Diwali

The photograph shows two of us, me (Vartika) and my husband (Harish) holding a plate of Lamps (Diyas in hindi)

Diwali or Deepawali is one of the biggest festivals in India and also celebrated in many parts of the world. It usually falls in October or November based on the Hindu lunar calendar. In 2010 Diwali will be celebrated on 5th November.


The significance: Diwali is also called festival of lights. The day marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom Ayodhya after defeating the demon king, Ravana also the ruler of Lanka in the mythological epic Ramayan. Thus signifying victory of good over evil.


Celebration: Diwali is celebrated by people of all ages, we put on new traditional clothes (Kurta Payjama for men and Saree or Salwar Kameez for women) and prepare sweets at home. We light diya/lamps to illuminate the entire house and create colourful designs called Rangoli. We also burst crackers and exchange greetings by arranging social gatherings. We offer prayers to mainly Lord Ganesha ( Elephant headed god), Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), and Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge) for the well being of our loved ones.

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