Photo Gallery: 13 Captivating Pictures of Diwali in India

Woman arranging oil lamps on rangoli during Diwali
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    Diwali, Festival of Lights

    Woman with lit earthen lamp at Diwali festival
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    Diwali is India's biggest and most significant festival. Celebrating Diwali sees the whole country glowing under the light of lamps, candles, and fireworks. These Diwali photos show the heartwarming beauty of the occasion.

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    Making Diyas for Diwali

    Making diyas for Diwali.
    ••• Making diyas for Diwali. Lindsay Brown/Getty Images.

    Traditional potters are very busy making clay diyas in the lead-up to Diwali. One of the places where this is carried out is Kumbharwada in Mumbai's renowned Dharavi slum.  Around 2,500 potter families belong to the community there. Work begins after the Holi festival, and continues intensively day and night in the lead-up to Diwali.

    Husbands, fathers and brothers knead the clay and mold them into diyas, then bake them in kilns. Wives, mothers and sisters take over after that, painting them and packing them for sale. Children also help out with the painting and packing.

    It's possible to visit Dharavi and Kumbharwada on a tour of the slum.  Here's why you must go on such a tour (it's actually the opposite of depressing poverty tourism).

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    Painting Diyas for Diwali

    Painting Diwali Diyas
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    After the clay diyas are dry, they're beautifully hand-painted.

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    Making Rangoli for Diwali

    Diwali rangoli.
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    Intricate rangoli is the focal point of decorations at the entrances to people's homes during Diwali. It's made using colored powder, held between the thumb and index finger. However, the application of it isn't as easy as it looks! If you find a design that you like, it's best to sketch it with chalk on the floor first. Birds, such as peacocks, and flowers are popular. Here are some ideas, as well as an overview of the application technique. Sometimes, people even use flower petals instead of colored powder.

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    Decorated Entrance for Diwali

    Diwali decorations.
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    People decorate the entrance to their houses to welcome and encourage Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, to enter.

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    Lakshmi Puja During Diwali

    Goddess Lakshmi.
    ••• Jagdish Agarwal/Getty Images

     

    The Goddess Lakshmi is believed to have been created from the churning of the ocean on the main Diwali day. A special puja is performed to worship her on this day.

     

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    Kali Puja in Kolkata

    Kali Puja.
    ••• Statue of Goddess Kali being crafted. NurPhoto / Getty Images

    Kali Puja is celebrated during Diwali in Kolkata (as well as other parts of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Assam). It usually takes place on the same day as Lakshmi Puja all over India. This festival honors fearsome Goddess Kali, the dark mother. Here, an artisan is crafting a statue of the Goddess for the festival.

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    Diwali Sweets

    Indian sweets.
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    It's customary to share sweets (and gifts) at Diwali.

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    Diwali Lanterns for Sale

    Diwali lanterns.
    ••• Jagdish Agarwal/Getty Images.

    Shops selling an assortment of Diwali lanterns, known as aakash kandils, are common at Diwali time.

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    Diwali Fireworks for Sale

    Crackers kept for sale Borivali Mumbai Maharashtra
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    Fireworks are an integral part of Diwali celebrations and markets are filled with them.

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    Diwali Fireworks

    Diwali fireworks in India.
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    Fireworks and crackers are a huge part of Diwali celebrations. But be careful, as they're often let off in the street close to people!

     

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    Diwali Fire Dance

    Diwali fire dance in Rajasthan.
    ••• Diwali fire dance in Rajasthan. Grant Faint/Getty Images.

    During Diwali the traditional Chari folk dance is performed by women. This involves women carrying flaming pots on their heads while gracefully dancing. It requires a lot of skill! The dance is particularly popular in the Gujjar and Saini communities of the Kishangarh and Ajmer regions in Rajasthan.

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    Diwali in Goa

    Diwali in Goa.
    ••• Ashit Desai/Getty Images

     

    Kids especially will love Diwali in Goa! The main celebration for Diwali is centered around the destruction of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Every village and city holds competitions to see who can build the biggest and scariest effigy of the demon. They're burned on Diwali eve.