Oil lamps being arranged on rangoli designs during Diwali
© Subir Basak/Getty Image
Decorating for Diwali
During Diwali, the five-day festival of lights, vibrant patterns of all shapes and sizes are created on the floor out of materials such as colored rice, sand, and flower petals. The charming Indian folk art, called rangoli, is usually made near the entrance of a home to welcome guests and deities, and is said to bring good luck on special occasions. Celebrations might be a bit different this year, but buildings will still be brightened by these decorative drawings, twinkling lights, and small oil lamps, known as diyas.
Diwali, which means 'row of lights' in the ancient language of Sanskrit, is commemorated every fall by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists in India and across the world. Each religion marks different historical events and stories, but what they all have in common is the concept of new beginnings, the triumph of good over evil, and the victory of light over darkness. Today marks the third day of Diwali, when festivities reach their peak.