Students light oil lamps to celebrate Diwali in Guwahati, India
© Anuwar Hazarika/Reuter
Diwali: The Hindu festival of lights. A triumph of light
These students in Guwahati, India, are lighting oil lamps called diya, and placing them around a floor decoration called rangoli. They’re preparing for Diwali, a five-day celebration symbolizing the victory of light over darkness. It’s a Hindu festival, but Sikhs, Jains, and Newar Buddhists also observe variations of Diwali. Many homes, temples, and commercial spaces decorate with lights, especially diya. The rangoli decoration is thought to bring good luck, and is created by hand using colored rice, flours, sand, or sometimes flower petals. Diwali lasts until November 11, so there’s still time to embrace the light.