Diwali is derived from the word Deepavali, meaning “rows of lighted lamps”.
The religious holiday is a symbolic celebration of good over evil and the lifting of spiritual darkness.
Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Newar Buddhists all observe the festival every autumn, with each religion offering different variations as to its origin.
Homes and public spaces are usually lit with small oil lamps called divas.
Colourful Rangoli decorations are also displayed on the floor.
What is Rangoli, what does it mean?
Rangoli, meaning colour, is a pattern created for the floor from rice or powder.
But some displays are made entirely from flower petals or leaves.
The Indian folk art form is believed to bring good luck and is often passed down from one relative to another to keep the tradition going.
Girls and women usually make the beautiful designs for weddings, key milestones and festivals such as Diwali.
Designs alter depending on the practices used by different countries and cultures.
For Diwali, Rangolis can be found near doorsteps and in the verandah.
Preparations for the Hindu festival start with people cleaning their homes and lining it with Rangolis.
How long does Diwali last this year?
Diwali usually falls between October and November, this year starting on November 5.
But different regions in India can celebrate it on various dates because it is observed in line with the Hindu lunar calendar.
The festival is usually marked as 18 days after the Dussehra festival in the Tamil month of Purattasi.
How do you wish someone Happy Diwali in English?
You do not need a fancy greeting – just need to say ‘happy Diwali’ to people who celebrate.
You can also send your own Diwali greeting