Timeframe: Sheikh Zayed and other pilgrims gather in Mina

Sheikh Zayed, who had been president of the UAE for eight years in 1979 when this photograph was taken, begins another Haj at Mina.

Sheikh Zayed, who had been president of the UAE for eight years in 1979 when this photograph was taken, begins another Haj at Mina. He, like all other pilgrims, is wearing the white garment of Ihram.

While in Mina, Sheikh Zayed addressed a speech to Muslims, calling on Allah to grant unity to the Muslim community. He urged Muslims not to give up their hopes of liberating the holy places of Palestine. He repeated the position of the UAE to support the Palestinian struggle "until God proves the right and invalidates dishonesty".

Mina is about 5km from Mecca. On the first day of the Haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that begins tomorrow, pilgrims gather in Mina. After morning prayers but before sunrise on the second day, pilgrims set off to Mount Arafat, where they stay until before sunset. It was on Mount Arafat that the Prophet Mohammed delivered his farewell sermon. It is a day of forgiveness.

After sunset, pilgrims move to Muzdalifah, where they collect chickpea-sized stones, 21 in all. After midnight, pilgrims move on to Mecca where at the Grand Mosque in the heart of the city they circle the black granite Kaaba seven times before returning to Mina for the ritual stoning of the devil at the Jamarat Bridge.

Time Frame is a series that opens a window into the nation's past. Each week it features an image from the archives of both prominent institutions and private collections. Readers are invited to make contributions to yourpics@thenational.ae

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers Henderson, Pickford, Pope.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Coady, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Maitland-Niles, Mings, Saka, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks.

Forwards Abraham, Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Ings, Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.  

 

What is Diwali?

The Hindu festival is at once a celebration of the autumn harvest and the triumph of good over evil, as outlined in the Ramayana.

According to the Sanskrit epic, penned by the sage Valmiki, Diwali marks the time that the exiled king Rama – a mortal with superhuman powers – returned home to the city of Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, after vanquishing the 10-headed demon Ravana and conquering his kingdom of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit thousands of earthen lamps to illuminate the city and to guide the royal family home.

In its current iteration, Diwali is celebrated with a puja to welcome the goodness of prosperity Lakshmi (an incarnation of Sita) into the home, which is decorated with diyas (oil lamps) or fairy lights and rangoli designs with coloured powder. Fireworks light up the sky in some parts of the word, and sweetmeats are made (or bought) by most households. It is customary to get new clothes stitched, and visit friends and family to exchange gifts and greetings.