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Festival of Lights

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Hindus worldwide recently celebrated Diwali, a five-day "festival of lights" that marks the new year and honors the principle of good over evil. One Diwali ritual is honoring Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. The occasion is also celebrated with fireworks, the sharing of sweets and gifts, and by decorating homes with lights and candles. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.-- Lloyd Young EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no post on Friday.)( 42 photos total)
A reveler lights a bottle rocket at a park during Diwali, the “festival of lights”, in Kolkata on Nov. 13. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and commemorates the time when Hindu God Lord Rama achieved victory over Ravana and returned to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images)

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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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RESCUE WORK
RESCUE WORK: A man pointed to a spot in the rubble as rescuers gathered in Van, Turkey, Tuesday. Earlier, rescuers freed a baby and her mother, both alive. The death toll had risen to 432 by Tuesday afternoon from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rattled eastern Turkey Sunday. (Quentin Top/Wostok Press/Maxppp/Zuma Press)

LIFTED UP
LIFTED UP: A wounded protester was rushed to a makeshift hospital in San’a, Yemen, after government troops opened fire on tens of thousand of demonstrators, killing at least two, on Tuesday. (Marwan Naamani/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

WILL ROW FOR FOOD
WILL ROW FOR FOOD: People paddled toward food dropped by a Thai army helicopter in a village that has been isolated by flooding in Ayutthaya, Thailand, Tuesday. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

HUNKERED DOWN
HUNKERED DOWN: A police officer stood guard inside a bunker after a grenade exploded in a market in Srinagar, India, Tuesday. Suspected militants carried out two grenade attacks on security force installations, injuring at least three paramilitary soldiers, police said. (Altaf Zargar/Zuma Press)

LUNCH BREAK
LUNCH BREAK: A vendor ate amid piles of stacked rice at a market in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, Tuesday. (Reuters)


PRESENT! European Parliament member Czeslaw Adam Siekierski attended a debate Tuesday in Strasbourg, France, regarding the economic crisis. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

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AN ILLUMINATING OCCUPATION
AN ILLUMINATING OCCUPATION: A boy displayed toys for sale at a park in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday. (Anjum Naveed/Associated Press)

STRANDED IN SNOW
STRANDED IN SNOW: A driver waited for assistance on a road in Hami, Xinjiang, China Wednesday. At least two roads were temporarily shut down due to the snow. (Cai Zengle/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

FIELD HANDS
FIELD HANDS: Mexican migrant workers carried crates of organic spinach during the harvest at Grant Family Farms in Wellington, Colo., Tuesday. The farm owner says while demand is high, labor from Mexico is down this year, so he’ll be unable to harvest up to one-third of his crops. (John Moore/Getty Images)

LITTLE POTS
LITTLE POTS: A man made earthenware vessels for Diwali in Jodhpur, India, Wednesday. The festival of lights celebrates Lord Ram and the vanquishing of the demon King Ravana. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

COSMETICALLY ALTERED KENT
COSMETICALLY ALTERED CLARK: Herbert Chavez posed with his Superman memorabilia inside his house in Calamba, Philippines, Wednesday. Mr. Chavez has undergone cosmetic surgery to make himself resemble the ‘Man of Steel.’ (Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters)

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