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Original author: 
WSJ Staff

In this week’s pictures, a soldier takes part in Victory Day commemorations in Moscow, a graduate dresses casually at a commencement ceremony President Obama attends in Ohio, a woman in a wedding dress gets muddy in England, and more.

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Original author: 
WSJ Staff

In today’s pictures, a man tends to one of his goats in Ireland, injured people receive treatment after an explosion in Syria, a holy man helps his adopted child into a yoga headstand in India, and more.

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Today marks the start of the five-day festival of Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs around the world. During Diwali, originally a harvest festival, lamps are lit to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, fireworks are set off to drive away evil spirits, and prayers for prosperity are offered to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Collected here are images of this year's festival, as celebrants color their world, give prayers, and wish each other a happy Diwali. [33 photos]

A girl lights earthen lamps in a formation to form the shape of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, on the eve of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, on November 12, 2012. (Reuters/Ajay Verma)

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PHOTOGRAPHING THE POPE
PHOTOGRAPHING THE POPE: People took pictures of Pope Benedict XVI during his weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City Wednesday. (Max Rossi/Reuters)

IN PARLIAMENT
IN PARLIAMENT: Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in purple, attended the Pyithu Hluttaw, the lower house of Parliament, Wednesday in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. She had formerly been under house arrest. (Nyein Chan Naing/European Pressphoto Agency)

FRONT AND CENTER
FRONT AND CENTER: Janos Ader took his oath as president of Hungary during a swearing-in ceremony in Hungarian Parliament in Budapest Wednesday. Parliament elected him to a five-year term by a vote of 262-40. (Laszlo Beliczay/MTI/Associated Press)

WHIPPING THEIR HAIR
WHIPPING THEIR HAIR: Eunuchs danced as they re-enacted a story from the Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’ during the annual Koovagam transgender festival south of Chennai, India, Wednesday. (Arun Sankar/Associated Press)

PAINT IN THE FACE
PAINT IN THE FACE: A police officer paused after being hit in the face with paint as officers advanced on Occupy protesters blocking an intersection during a May Day rally in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Hindus around the world -- from South Asia to Britain and beyond -- observe many colorful holidays throughout the year. Recent festivals include the Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrating the birth of the elephant-headed deity, and Janamashtami, the birth anniversary of the god Krishna. The range of experiences at these celebrations runs from joyfully loud and spectacular to solemn and contemplative. Each devotee celebrates in a distinct, personal way even while joining the larger community. Hinduism is the world's third-largest religion; the majority of its one billion adherents are concentrated in India, but sizable communities exist all over the globe. I hope you enjoy these vivid, intriguing glimpses of Hindu festivals photographed over the past few months. [39 photos]

Devotees carry an idol of Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, into the water from Girgaum Chowpatty beach before immersing it in the waters of the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, on September 11, 2011. Idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual send-off of his journey towards his abode in "Kailash", while taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash)

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