Diwali 2017
Indian children watch fireworks at the Madan Mohan Malviya stadium during Diwali in Allahabad on Oct. 18, 2017. Getty Images

The Indian festival of lights, called Diwali, was celebrated Thursday in India and in other parts of the world. People lit oil lamps known as "diyas" and candles, along with other firework displays.

The glittering festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.

The date of Diwali changes each year depending on the Hindu lunar calendar. For instance, in 2018, Diwali will fall on Nov. 7 and in 2019, it will occur on Oct. 27.

The festival is celebrated over a span of five days with Diwali being the third day, which is the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik.

This year, the festival of lights was on Oct. 19. Also known as Deepavali, which is a Sanskrit word for "rows of lighted lamps," it is one of the most popular festivals celebrated across South Asia.

People worship the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, in the evening at their homes. The Diwali festival is celebrated by various faiths and people indulge in shopping as it is a custom to wear new clothes on the day. People also buy gold, new kitchen utensils and presents to gift to their near and dear ones.

Cleaning of houses are an integral part of this festival as every house welcomes the goddess Lakshmi. Families make colorful "rangolis" that are traditional Indian floor designs. Synthetic colors and flowers are used to make these rangolis at entrances, doorways and courtyards of people's homes.

U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump tweeted wishing "Hindus, Sikhs & Jains around the world a joyful #Diwali." Ivanka is scheduled to visit India for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in late November. She also tweeted that she was looking forward to the visit. The invitation for this visit was by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited the U.S. in August.

The president celebrated his first Diwali at the White House on Wednesday during which he applauded the contribution of the Indian-American community in the United States. Trump also said he valued his strong relationship with Modi, in a Facebook post.

He wrote: "Our Indian-American neighbors and friends have made incredible contributions to our country — and to the world. You have made extraordinary contributions to art, science, medicine, business and education. America is especially thankful for its many Indian-American citizens who serve BRAVELY in our armed forces and as first responders in communities throughout our great land."

"The Lighting of the Diya is typically celebrated by families in their homes. Today, we proudly celebrate this holiday in THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE. In so doing, we reaffirm that Indian-Americans and Hindu-Americans are truly cherished, treasured and beloved members of our great American FAMILY."

The president and Ivanka were joined by several senior Indian-American members of his administration such as Nikki Haley, his Ambassador to the United Nations and Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Here are some of the Diwali photographs from around the world.

A young Indian Sikh devotee lights a candle early in the morning during Diwali at the illuminated Golden Temple in Amritsar on Oct. 19, 2017. Getty Images
Dancers perform a traditional Indian dance during the Diwali festival of light celebrations, in Trafalgar Square, central London, Oct. 15, 2017. Reuters
A devotee lights oil lamps at a religious ceremony during the Diwali or Deepavali festival at a Hindu temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka Oct. 18, 2017. Reuters
Thamiska Ramasir, a 7-year-old girl lights up colorful clay lamps in preparation to celebrate Diwali during the two day Diwali (Festival of Lights) Hindu festival celebrations at the old Drive-Inn in Durban, on Oct. 14, 2017. Getty Images
Fireworks fill the sky during the Diwali lights switch on in Leicester, U.K., Oct. 8, 2017. Reuters