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indians celebrated the second day of diwali on monday, the day when streets are adorned with with rows (avali) of clay and oil lamps (diya / deepa). the candles in the first photo read “happy diwali” in hindi.

known as the festival of lights, diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. it originated as a festival to mark the last harvest of the year and seek the divine blessing of lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. over the centuries, it has become a national festival enjoyed by most indians regardless of faith.

hindus, however, interpret the diwali story according to geography: in the north of india they celebrate the story of king rama’s return to ayodhya after he defeated ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps; south india celebrates it as the day that lord krishna defeated the demon narakasura; and in western india the festival marks the day that lord vishnu sent the demon king bali to rule the nether world.

photos (click pic) by amit dave, ajay verma, kevin frayer, altaf qadri, sanjeev gupta and shakil adil

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