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Diwali Begins: Hindu Celebration is Festival of Lights

Image: Diwali Begins: Hindu Celebration is Festival of Lights

Members of an Indian Hindu family light earthen lamps on a rangoli, a hand decorated pattern on the floor, as part of Diwali festivities in Ahmadabad, India, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (Ajit Solanki/AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 19 October 2017 01:30 PM

Diwali began Wednesday in the Hindu communities around the world, a five-day celebration that recognizes the return of Rama from exile to defeat the demon king Rava in the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana.

The festival of lights, also called Deepavali, is the biggest and most important holiday in India and is similar to the importance of Christmas to Christians, according to National Geographic. The magazine said the celebration gets its name from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness.

Diwali is greeted with fireworks and treats as celebrants decorate their homes, Time magazine noted.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali on Thursday with the Indian Army in Gurez valley along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, saying he considered them as a part of his family, the Times of India reported.

"Protecting the Motherland, far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation's borders, are symbols of bravery and dedication," Modi wrote in the visitor's book, according to the Times of India.

"I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians," he continued.

Other Indian politicians shared statements as well. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said that bonuses were disbursed to farmers ahead of Diwali, according to the Indian Express.

Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang asked people to celebrate Diwali in a "pollution-free manner," the Indian Express noted.

"Let this festival of lights be an occasion for all of us to show love and mutual respect to one another. May this day bring peace, joy and prosperity to every home and society in the state," Zeliang noted per the Indian Express.

According to USA Today, Diwali has blossomed into a national festival recognized by most Indians regardless of faith.

Diwali celebrates the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi, as well, noted the newspaper. USA Today reported that some believe that Diwali falls on Lakshimi's birthday and the day she married another Hindu god, Lord Vishnu.

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Diwali began Wednesday in the Hindu communities around the world, a five-day celebration that recognizes the return of Rama from exile to defeat the demon king Rava in the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana.
diwali, begins, hindu, celebration
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2017-30-19
Thursday, 19 October 2017 01:30 PM
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