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Dyes, candles and mountains of food: Your Diwali shots from around the world

By Stina Backer and Eoghan Macguire, for CNN
updated 11:31 AM EST, Tue November 13, 2012
This image of colorful powders, which are used to make rangoli artworks during Diwali, was snapped by iReporter <a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-880606'>Digamber Singh Rayamajhi</a> as he walked through the busy streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. <!-- --> </br><!-- -->
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"As it is Diwali time the roads were bustling with people coming to shop," he says. "There were lot of little street shops on the pedestrian foot paths selling candles, colors, spices. I thought it looked beautiful and I just clicked few pics through my cell phone." This image of colorful powders, which are used to make rangoli artworks during Diwali, was snapped by iReporter Digamber Singh Rayamajhi as he walked through the busy streets of Kathmandu, Nepal.

"As it is Diwali time the roads were bustling with people coming to shop," he says. "There were lot of little street shops on the pedestrian foot paths selling candles, colors, spices. I thought it looked beautiful and I just clicked few pics through my cell phone."
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The colors of Diwali
Diwali down under
Caribbean celebrations
The art of henna
Kidding around
Diwali decorations
Rangoli sands
Festival of lights
Singapore celebrates
Diwali street art
Bustling bazaar
Spiritual healing
Kaleidoscope of color
Bright lights
Sweet moments
Candle vigil
Symmetrical statues
Flower power
Diwali first
Karachi fireworks
'Illuminating hope'
Face of Lakshmi
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Festival of Diwali began on November 11 and is celebrated for several days afterward by millions of Hindus across the world
  • Houses are decorated with scores of small oil lamps to commemorate the legend of the return of the Hindu god Rama
  • Your photos include beautiful decorations, colorful rangolis, tasty treats and plenty of celebration

(CNN) -- Diwali is one of the most important events in the Hindu spiritual calendar. It is known as the "Festival of Lights" and takes place between mid October and mid November each year.

This year we asked iReporters from around the world to submit their best images of the celebration and the stunning result is featured in the gallery above.

Submit your favorite Diwali photos

The name "Diwali" is a contraction of the word Deepavali, which means row of lights in Sanskrit. During the holiday, candles and oil lamps called "diyas" are lit to commemorate the legend of the return of the Hindu god Rama to his kingdom after 14 years in exile after murdering the ten-headed demon Ravana.

In India the goddess Lakshmi is also celebrated during the holiday and colorful rangolis -- decorative floor designs made of sand -- are made in her honor.

"Most people buy the sand and make their own, or they buy ready-made stencils," said Manish Kanojia, whose stunning photos from in and around Delhi are represented in the gallery.

Read more about Diwali: One festival, many customs

Diwali is not just celebrated in India. In cities around the world that have substantial Indian populations Diwali is part of the events calendar and is celebrated by Indians and non-Indians alike.

"Deepavali in Singapore is a great event visited by visitors and locals alike and not just Indians," said Monika Khaled, who moved from Austria to Singapore in 2006.

The 38-year-old writer submitted her first iReport featuring numerous colorful photos of the bazaar in Singapore's "Little India" district.

Test your Diwali knowledge with our quiz

For Roger Seepersad, a 23-year-old Hindu from Trinidad and Tobago, Diwali is the perfect opportunity to take photographs as the festival is so centred around light.

"Trinidad and Tobago has a large Hindu population, so Diwali is very big," said the student and freelance journalist.

"Here, the Hindu community celebrates by cleaning their houses and preparing foods such as roti, channa and aloo, white rice, and various vegetable curries. They also prepare sweets like parsad, kurma and barfi. At around 6pm, they light deyas around their houses. Hindus invite friends and family over to help with the diya lighting and to just enjoy each other's company ... At night there is usually tons of fireworks as well," he added.

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