India's Festival of Lights
On Sunday, November 12, 2023 many Indians around the world will be celebrating Diwali, the Indian festival of lights that Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists traditionally observe. Diwali represents the symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil
Diwali is primarily a Hindu festival, but variations of Diwali are also celebrated by adherents of other faiths. According to Pew Research Center Diwali is celebrated by 85% of all adults in India, Which includes the vast majority of Jains (98%), Hindus (95%), and Sikhs (90%), as well as most Buddhists (79%) and large minorities of Christians (31%) and Muslims (20%).
Hindus commemorate Diwali as being the day Rama returned to his kingdom in Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating the demon king Ravana. Hindus of Eastern India and Bangladesh generally celebrate Diwali by worshipping the goddess Kali.
"The five-day celebration is observed every year in early autumn after the conclusion of the summer harvest... In the lead-up to Diwali, celebrants prepare by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces with oil lamps and colorful art circle patterns. During Diwali, people wear their finest clothes; illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with earthen lamps; diyas and rangoli, perform worship ceremonies of Lakshmi (the goddess of prosperity and wealth); light fireworks; and partake in family feasts, where sweets, dried fruit, nuts and gifts are shared." [from Wikipedia]
India is the most populous country in the world with one-sixth of the world's population. With over 1.4 billion people, India overtook China to become the most populous country at the end of April 2023.