Diwali 2012People light earthen lamps in a formation to form the shape of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, on the eve of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 12, 2012.
Diwali 2012A man stands under lanterns for sale at a Diwali market in Mumbai, November 12, 2012. Hindus decorate their homes and places of worship with flowers and lights during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, which will be celebrated across the country on Tuesday.
Diwali 2012Surinamese dressed as the Hindu god Rama participate in an annual procession in observation of Diwali at the Independence Square in Paramaribo, November 10, 2012. Hindus in Suriname decorate their homes for Diwali with lamps and candles, hoping Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, will visit them during this period.
Diwali 2012Inmate Ramesh Kumar packs candles in boxes after making them for the Hindu festival of Diwali, inside Kot Bhalwal jail, on the outskirts of Jammu November 7, 2012. Jail authorities have initiated many programs like candle making for inmates to train themselves in job-related work and reforming their inner selves to be responsible in life, jail superintendent Rajni Sehgal said on Wednesday.
Diwali 2012A woman paints dried clay lamps at her workplace as her daughter watches, on the outskirts of Jammu November 5, 2012. Earthen lamps are sold in large numbers during Diwali, the annual Hindu festival of lights, when people buy these for decorating their homes. The Diwali festival will be observed this year on November 13.
Diwali 2012Hindus carry offerings as they arrive at a temple for prayers during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in the village of Taman Permata, outside Kuala Lumpur November 13, 2012. The Hindu community, which makes up 8 percent of Malaysia's 28 million population, celebrates Diwali, known locally as Deepavali, on Tuesday by decorating their homes and visiting places of worship.
Diwali 2012People crowd at a wholesale flower market ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in Kolkata November 12, 2012. Hindus decorate their homes and places of worship with flowers during the festival, which will be celebrated across the country on Tuesday. Photograph taken with a slow shutter speed and zoom lens.
Diwali 2012A vendor transports garlands of marigold flowers on his motorcycle to sell at a market ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad November 11, 2012.
Diwali 2012Surinamese Hindus participate in an annual procession in celebration of Diwali at the Independence Square in Paramaribo, November 10, 2012. Hindus in Suriname decorate their homes for Diwali with lamps and candles, hoping Lakshmi will visit them during this period.
Diwali, the spectacular Hindu festival of lights celebrated all over the world, is under way.
The five-day event began on Tuesday with traditional holiday staples like candles and oil lamps called "diyas" lit to celebrate the return of Hindu god Rama to his kingdom after years of exile. Diwali, a contraction of the word "Deepavali" -- meaning row of lights in Sanskrit -- is often celebrated with food, dancing, parties and, of course, colorful lights hanging everywhere.
Diwali is not only celebrated in India but in many non-Indian nations like Trinidad and Tobago, which have large Hindu populations, CNN reported. Each nation celebrates the holiday differently, though the elements remain the same.
In New Delhi, the capital of India, residents decorated their homes with "rangolis," flowers, lights and earthen "diyas" for the occasion, according to NDTV.com. In Amritsar, thousands flocked to the Golden Temple to pay obeisance. In Tamil Nadu, newlyweds celebrated their first Diwali tougher by saying "Thalai Deppavali" to their new spouse.
Roger Seepersad, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, told CNN "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 6 p.m., 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."
View the slideshow to see photos of Diwali all over the world.