A season of festivals, joy and happiness has already begun, with the whole world celebrating the pre-Christmas carnival.

While people in U.S. are seen sporting colorful, spooky costumes and enjoying the annual Halloween carnival; devotees in India are engrossed in celebrating one of the county's biggest festivals - Diwali.

The Indian festival of lights- Deepawali, popularly known as Diwali, is the biggest Hindu festival and is celebrated across the country.

The holy festival is not only limited to India, it is celebrated in various forms in various South-East Asian countries. There are several tales behind its origin; all of them symbolize the victory of good over evil.

The festivities begin around a month before Diwali; people decorate their homes and places of worship with lamps or candles and worship Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity.

This is perhaps the most exciting time for the children; not only because they get vacation time from educational institutions but also because it is all about prime-time shopping for people in India, from buying new clothes to jewellery and sweets, as well as carrying out major investments.

People invest massively in gold and silver during the festive season, considering it a good omen for the prosperity of the family.

Wishing all our readers a very Happy Diwali and Happy Halloween 2011.