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Lighting up the night sky

Lighting up the night sky
Families celebrate with fireworks and sparklers during Diwali.

Indians celebrate Diwali with great vigour around the world

By Natalia Ahmed

Published: Wed 23 Oct 2019, 10:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 24 Oct 2019, 1:06 PM

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the 'Festival of Lights' and is celebrated at the end of autumn everywhere, both within India and abroad, in places with a larger Indian population. The festival is spread across five days, and marks the start of the new year on the Hindu calendar.
For centuries, Diwali has been one of the more popular festivals in India, and is celebrated across the country. Though each state may have different traditions, the underlying theme of 'lights' remains prevalent across borders. 
Preparation for the festival can begin weeks beforehand, with storefronts and homes redecorating to bring in the festive season. For many, Diwali is a time of rejuvenation, of sprucing up one's wardrobe and interiors to bring in a fresh breath of life.
Many Indians also use this time to give gifts to friends and family - these gifts can range from toys for children, to jewellery and new clothes for adults. Indeed, many people use this time to invest in gold and diamond jewellery. For clothes, it is seen as customary to wear new clothes for Diwali festivities.
Many people use this time to invest in new outfits, and freshen up their wardrobe. In line with this, many retailers and online stores introduce discounts, offers, and promotions to make Diwali shopping that much easier. 
During the festival itself, many homes light small lamps, or diyas, around the house, and spread cheer by exchanging gifts and sweets. Many use this time to invite people to their home and share the festivities, and people decorate their homes with rangolis, or floral arrangements that are made on the floor. 
Sweets play a large role this festive season, with many people preparing batches of kaju katlis, ladoos, gulab jamuns, rasgullas, and much more. It is customary to give these delicacies to neighbours, friends, and relatives to help bring in the new year.
For busier homes, there are a number of packed sweets available in supermarkets and stores across the region, making it easier to celebrate the festival in all its pomp and rigour. 
Fireworks play a large role in Diwali celebrations, with many outdoor spaces setting up firework displays. Across India, cities set up grand firework displays, and other cities outside the country celebrate the festival in this way; the eco-friendlier option is to use LED lights and have a grand light show, with younger generations leaning towards this practice. 
Dubai, too, will be celebrating Diwali with a number of fireworks shows across the city, and many restaurants will be offering authentic Indian buffets for people to enjoy Indian treats during the festival.
Stores, too, will be taking part by providing packed sweets and treats, offers on jewellery, clothes, and other gifts, and diyas and other light fixtures to brighten up homes during the festival. 
Around the world, Indians have celebrated the festival with gusto and are able to recreate traditional joys and invite others to join in, despite staying far away from home. 

Families often decorate their homes with rangolis for the festive season.
Families often decorate their homes with rangolis for the festive season.

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