October 19, 2009
Hindus celebrate Diwali holiday in India and beyond

Around the world, from India and Mauritius to the United Kingdom and Guyana, Hindus gathered with friends and family to celebrate the festival of lights: Diwali. Also known as Dipawali, which means “row of lamps,” the holiday commemorates the victory of good over evil within individuals. Hindus, in addition to Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains, had major festivities this past weekend.

The season is known for gift-giving and community gatherings involving firecrackers, music, and dancing.

President Obama lit a Diwali lamp at the White House during a celebration on October 14. In New York City, a major Diwali event took place on October 11 at the Queens Botanical Garden:

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A major firework and laser display with as many as 10,000 spectators occurred this weekend in Leicester, U.K., reputed to have the biggest Diwali celebrations outside India.

Around 50 fireworks shops caught fire Friday in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, killing two and injuring a dozen people. The Diwali firecracker market had been set up in the city of Bulandshahar.

DailyIndia is reporting that a flood of cheap Chinese-made Diwali lights in Dehradun, also in North India, has pleased revelers but upset local light manufacturers - who are apparently on the verge of closing down completely.

Happy Diwali!

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