The name Diwali comes from the Sanskrit "Dipavali", which translates as "row of lamps".
During Diwali lamps are lit, fireworks are set off and buildings are festooned in fancy lights. These lights signify the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness and of knowledge over ignorance.
They also symbolically light the way for Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity. Diwali is also seen as the start of the new business year, and as a celebration of the harvest.
As well as the lights, traditions include:
- Cleaning or redecorating the home and buying new clothes
- Sharing gifts with others, especially sweets
- Creating rangoli patterns in front of the house to welcome the goddess.