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Autumn Holiday Series: Diwali

Diwali is a festival of nights and one of many festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. It lasts five days typically and is celebrated between mid-October to mid-November. As one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the "victory of light over darkness/ good over evil/ and knowledge over ignorance."

The festival is linked to Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity, and Ganesha, god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles. It is a celebration of the day Rama returned to his kingdom in Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after beating the demon Ravana in Lanka and serving 14 years of exile.

Celebrants will clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and workplaces in pre-arrangements with oil lamps and colorful art circle patterns. During Diwali, people wear their finest clothes, lighten up the inside and outside of their homes, perform worship ceremonies of the goddess of prosperity and wealth, light off fireworks, and partake in family feasts, where sweets and gifts are traded.

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