Diwali celebrations light up India – Millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world celebrate Diwali this week. Also known as the festival of lights, it's famous for the spectacular light decorations displayed during the five-day event.
Victory of light over dark – An Indian Sikh devotee lights candles at the illuminated Golden Temple in Amritsar. Though the three faiths celebrate Diwali -- the name comes from the word Deepavali, meaning "row of lights" -- in different ways, the main theme symbolizes the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
Return of Sikh's Guru Hargobind Ji – Indian Sikhs celebrate Diwali to mark the return of the sixth Guru, Hargobind Ji, who is said to have released 52 political prisoners while being freed from his own imprisonment from Gwalior Fort by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619.
Golden Temple at Amritsar – It's said that when he was freed, Guru Hargobind Ji arrived at Amritsar on Diwali day and Harmandar Sahib, or the "Golden Temple," was lit with hundreds of lamps to celebrate his return. The tradition continues to this day -- with splendid results.
Diwali stories – Neary every house -- and food cart -- in Amritsar is decorated with lamps and lights for Diwali. One of the most popular legends relating to the holiday is the homecoming of the God Lord Rama after he vanquished the demon king Ravana.
Freedom from the Mughals – During Diwali, Indian Sikh Nihang (traditional religious warriors) also celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, in honor of their freedom from the Mughal regime.
Dipping in the holy sarover – An Indian Sikh devotee holds a child as they take a dip in the holy sarover (water tank) during Bandi Chhor Divas at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Lighting up the eve of Diwali – Residents light candles and lamps on the ground at the Madan Mohan Malviya stadium on the eve of the Hindu festival Diwali in Allahabad. Diwali is considered the Hindu New Year. Homes are spring-cleaned and decorated with multi-colored rangoli designs and floral decorations on doorways.
Earthern lamps over the Yamuna – In the northern city of Vrindavan, women hold lit earthern lamps on the banks of the Yamuna River. They chant as they walk through the street during celebrations.
Goddess of wealth – The third day of Diwali festival is the most important for the Lakshmi-puja faith. Clean houses and lit candles and lamps are meant to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, so she will bless the family with prosperity.
Exchanging gifts – Diwali is also a time for exchanging gifts -- traditionally sweets and dried fruit, which are in abundance on the streets in the run up to the festival. Here, a woman samples some gol gappas at a roadside snack shop in New Delhi.