Today is Diwali–more commonly known as the “Festival of Lights” to English speakers–for millions of Hindus and Jains. The Festival itself lasts for five days, but Diwali is the largest celebration within that time period. Diwali isn’t based on a Roman calendar, but rather is celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. This particular day coincides with a new moon which allows all the candles, sparklers, fireworks and other light sources to illuminate the sky more brilliantly.
Specific celebrations vary from region to region, but the overall theme is that people light and place candles or lamps in the windows. But it doesn’t stop in the windows, people take to the streets and light all sorts of things. Our favorite are the gorgeous floating lanterns they release into the sky.
Even if you’re not a Hindu, it’s hard to argue that these photos of Diwali aren’t beautiful to look at. We pulled together a selection of some of the best photos from around the world of people celebrating the Festival of Lights for you below.
What is Diawli
The word Diwali means rows of lighted lamps. During the Festival of Lights, houses and shops are decorated with candles and colorful lights. This shows the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. For many Indians, Diwali honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and people will start the new business year at Diwali and some will say prayers to the goddess for a prosperous year ahead.