Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights which is celebrated in almost all parts of India. Diwali signifies the journey from darkness to light. This year, the festival is celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 26.

The celebration reflects a story in the Hindu epic of Ramayana. It marks the return of the ancient king of Ayodhya, Rama, along with his wife, Sita, and brother, Lakshman, to his kingdom. The king ended 14 years of exile after a war in which he killed the demon king Ravana.

Indians celebrate the festival by brightening the day and night with colorful garments and glowing lights. They offer prayers to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, and light lamps as a way to welcome her into their homes. They visit the homes of their friends and relatives with gifts. They share sweets and burst crackers.

Check out the pictures blow to get a feel of the celebrations.