South Asia's evening gloom is being punctured and punctuated by children's fireworks and sparklers as revelers take to the streets to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights shared by Jains, Hindus and Sikhs. The biggest parties are likely in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, but there are also celebrations closer to home in Trinidad and Tobago. America gets in on the action as as well.
The festival has different significances in different cultures, but there are many common ceremonies. Celebrants keep lamps on during the night and clean their homes. Also -- and more excitingly -- they light a lot of fireworks.
Many Sikhs celebrate the festival by heading to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. The centuries old and rather ostentation holy site was painted gold in the early nineteenth century, which has made it popular with tourists ever since. Amritsar also contains the palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which now houses a popular museum that showcases the opulence of the Sikh period. The site is an excellent stop for those enjoying an Indian Diwali.
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