Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights

Diwali also known as Deepavali and the “Festival of Lights”, is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes. On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja (prayers), fireworks follow, then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

A potter carries a basket filled with clay money boxes at a workshop ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in New Delhi October 16, 2014. (Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters)
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Northern Lights over the Bals-Fiord

A tourist takes photos of an Aurora Borealis display (Northern Lights) over the Bals-Fiord north of the Arctic Circle, near the village of Mestervik late September 30, 2014. (Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)
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Northern Lights Over The Europe

The northern lights as they are commonly known at Embleton Bay in Northumberland, on February 27, 2014. (Photo by Tom White/PA Wire) Continue reading »

Christmas Lights Around the World

Christmas trees are decorated in front of the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. (Photo by Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press) Continue reading »

Oakland Zoo Lights Up its ZooLights

Holiday lights illuminate animal figures at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. The zoo officially plugged in the lights, sights, and sounds of the season, and until January 5, 2014, hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights will illuminate the night sky to celebrate the holiday tradition known as ZooLights. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) Continue reading »

Lucetta: Magnetic Bike Lights

Lucetta is an innovative set of two small magnetic bicycle lights. Easily attached to several different parts of a bicycle, the two small lights – white for the front, red for the rear – are switched on and off with just one click.

Designed to stay securely in place on even the bumpiest of roads, the lights give the option of a steady, slow or fast flashing beam, also selected with a ‘magic’ interaction.

Once a destination is reached, the lights are easily removed and may be linked together and slip in your pocket. The range of the beam is wide enough to reach vehicles, even if the light is tilted down. Lucetta embodies maximum utility and versatility.

The object is simple; it doesn’t have a technical look but a friendly feature, ‘clean’ and yet a bit mysterious. It is designed to take as little space as possible and to stay with other small personal things of everyday usage – keys, mobile phone, loose change – that ‘inhabit’ our pockets.

Design by Pizzolorusso for Palomar. Continue reading »

Photo of the Day: Christmas Lights

Trees are decorated with lights to celebrate the upcoming Christmas and New Year at the Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong, South Korea. (Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press)

Christmas Lights Around the World

Tokyo DisneySea at Urayasu, Chiba prefecture, is holding Christmas festivities each night until December 25, 2012. At neighboring Tokyo Disneyland, the Christmas Fantasy parade is held twice daily at the theme park. (Disneyland) Continue reading »

Spectacular Images of Northern Lights Captured from Space

The aurora borealis steals the show in this nighttime photograph shot from the International Space Station as the orbital outpost flew over the Midwest recently. Cloud cover makes it difficult to identify the cities that are within the captured area. The spacecraft was above south-central Nebraska when the photo was taken. The angle of the look is northward to northeastward. (ISS030-E-061267 http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/) Continue reading »

Chinese Lantern Festival 2012 Lights up the Sky

Celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar year, the stunning Lantern Festival lit up skies from China to Singapore on Feb. 6, concluding the festivities of the Chinese New Year. According to Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a New Year when there is a full moon in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate.

In 2012, lanterns with themes for the Year of the Dragon wound through cities from Taipei to Shanghai.

People walk under red lanterns on display during Lantern Festival celebrations in Taipei February 5, 2012. The Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao Jie is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. The Lantern Festival is also known as the Little New Year since it marks the end of the series of celebrations starting from the Chinese New Year. (REUTERS / Pichi Chuang) Continue reading »

Photo of the Day: Northern Lights

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, Norway. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/Scanpix Norway) Click image to zoom.

Christmas Lights go up around the World

In this photo made using a long exposure and zooming the lens, hundreds of lights illuminate the home of Norm and Michele Rados in Olmsted Township, Ohio on Dec. 23. Rados said it takes four to five weekends of work to finish his annual holiday display leading up to the Sunday after Thanksgiving. (Mark Duncan / AP) Continue reading »

Photo of the Day: Tunnel of Lights

People walk through a “tunnel of lights” set up in Tokyo, Japan. (Itsuo Inouye/Associated Press) Click image to zoom.

Photo of the Day: The Lights of Dubai

The Dubai Mall, the Address Dubai Mall hotel, and Dubai fountain are seen at night in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai and its state-owned non-financial companies have $101.5 billion of outstanding debt and may need further financial support to meet those obligations, Moody’s said. (Gabriela Maj/Bloomberg) Click image to zoom.

Photo of the Day: Festival of Lights

A NASA Satellite photo over India, as the festival of lights begins. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, stretches beyond India, a five-day holiday encompassing multiple stories from around the world, involving Hindus, some Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. For India, however, where roughly 80 percent of the population practices Hinduism, Diwali 2011 is and will be a massive and deeply Hindu affair, one involving dancing, shows, religious worship and lots of fireworks. (NASA)