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Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 16:35 UK
About: The Indian festival Diwali
Lighting diyas during Diwali
Lighting diyas during Diwali

Saturday 17 October signified the start of the five day festival of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights.

The festival from South Asia is a celebration for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains alike.

On Diwali, small clay pots filled with a wick and oil are lit to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual.

Krishnan Nath from the Hindu Cultural Society in North Ormesby spoke to BBC Tees' Mike Hill about the festival.

"We celebrate the coming back of Rama after 14-years of exile, and during that period, he also killed Ravana, who stole his wife." Explains Krishnan.

"He came back on that particular day, and since then, all the city was lit by lights, and since then we have been celebrating that.

"Prior to that, we have been celebrating this particular day for the Goddess of Wealth, and now we have combined both of them together."

Some Diwali celebrations can be very similar to Christmas, with sweets and presents for example, but the festival is often symobilsed by pictures of light diyas, which are the small clay pots pictured above.




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