India brightens up on Diwali

Diwali, the festival of lights, is being celebrated across the country with traditional fervor and zeal today.

New Delhi: Fireworks illuminated the evening
sky, earthen lamps dotted houses and people exchanged sweets
and gifts on Diwali which also witnessed bonhomie between
Indian and Pakistani guards at border posts.

It was fun and frolic for children and youth as they
burst crackers and lit fireworks while families visited their
neighbours, exchanged `Happy Diwali` greetings and sweets.

Youngsters also took the route of SMS and social networking
websites to wish each other.

According to Hindu belief, Diwali is celebrated to mark
the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya from his exile after
vanquishing demon-king Ravana.

In the national capital, people decorated their homes and
shops with colourful `rangolis`, flowers and lightings and lit
`diyas` or earthen lamps.

In nearby Amritsar, thousands of people paid obeisance in
the Golden Temple, which was illuminated by fancy lights.
Community feast (langar) was arranged for over three lakh
devotees. On Diwali in 1620, sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind Sahib
was released by Mughal emperor Jahangir from Gwalior fort.

People also celebrated Diwali in other parts of the
country with traditional fervour and gaiety. Devouts thronged
temples and offered prayers.

Bollywood turned to Twitter to greet the people and also
to ask fans to go slow on sweets and crackers. For movie
buffs, there were new releases like Shah Rukh Khan`s "Ra.One",
"7am Arivu" starring Tamil actor Suriya, and popular actor
Vijay`s "Velayudham" to choose from.

President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari
and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted the people on the
occasion of Diwali saying the festival of lights strengthens
the country`s resolve to follow true ethical values.


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