Divali also known as Deepavali and the “festival of lights”, is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year.
The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Divali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika.
In the Gregorian calendar, Divali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Before Divali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes.
On Divali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up deyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
After puja (prayers), fireworks follow, then there is typically a family feast and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends.