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Families across the globe celebrating Diwali

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5 2013 9:35 a.m. MST

A boy buys lanterns in preparation for the Hindu festival of Diwali at a roadside stall in Mumbai, India, Friday, Oct. 20, 2006.

Associated Press

Now that the darker holidays of Halloween and Mexico's Day of the Dead have ceased, families across the globe have another (and brighter) holiday to celebrate: Diwali.

Diwali, a five-day Hindu festival commonly called the festival of lights, is a family-centered holiday of self-awareness and reflection. In many Eastern countries, the festival of lights is considered a public holiday.

Photo galleries are popping up everywhere for the holiday.

CNN offered images of many different light structures and models.

Similarly, BBC published pictures submitted by users who spotted celebratory makeups.

The Huffington Post also released a photo gallery of the holiday’s vibrant buildups.

BBC also published an article about the celebrations in Leicester, England. Lights for the city were turned on last week, according to BBC, in advance of the main celebration. BBC reported “about 35,000 turned out for the lights switch on last week, and even more people are believed to have attended the main event.”

It’s not all positive for the holiday, though.

One writer at Forbes said Diwali is not only about lights and escaping darkness, but also about leadership. The writer, Dina Medland, said businessmen look to understand holidays like Diwali to become more cultured and, thus, better salesmen.

Also, celebrations have led to fires and a murder in India, according to The Times of India, which also said “mob rampage” has risen because of the murder.

But not all celebrators are abroad. Americans are taking part in the holiday, according to an NPR blog. For some Indian-American families, the celebration is a reflection and appreciation of family.

And in Southern California, “many local temples, Hindu organizations and Sikh gurdwaras are organizing a series of events to celebrate Diwali, which falls on Nov. 3 this year,” according to Southern California Public Radio.

Even Congress is celebrating the holiday. Last week, “the first ever Diwali festival was celebrated at the U.S. Congress today amidst chanting of Vedic mantras by a Hindu priest,” according to First Post.

“I have come here to say Happy Diwali,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to First Post. “United States owes a great debt of gratitude to India. Because our civil rights movement was built on the non-violent movement in India. Martin Luther King studied there, spoke there. We are blessed not only by that legacy, but also by the presence of so many Indo-Americans in our country.”

And, according to The Economic Times, President Barack Obama similarly wished Indians a “Happy Diwali."

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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