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Bright lights of Diwali mark new year, fresh start

Komal Patel, 21, holds a tray of tea lights for Shafali Bhakta, 21, to pray over at a celebration of Diwali at the University 
of South Florida in Tampa on Tuesday. Diwali, which commemorates the new year, is also called the Festival of Lights.

Komal Patel, 21, holds a tray of tea lights for Shafali Bhakta, 21, to pray over at a celebration of Diwali at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Tuesday. Diwali, which commemorates the new year, is also called the Festival of Lights.

Diwali, also called the Festival of Lights, marks the start of the new year. It represents the victory of good over evil and the chance for people to lift any spiritual darkness in their lives. The story, in Shafali Bhakta's words:

With Diwali, you're setting your goals and hopes and dreams for the coming year. I asked to please allow me to graduate on time, and I really hope I will. I dream of becoming president of Delta Phi Omega's Lambda chapter. And my main goal is to get home to Fort Walton Beach to see my family more often. When I let my diya, tea light candle in a clay pot, go on the water, I just hope my wishes are heard.

Popular fest

Diwali is the most widely celebrated holiday in India, lasting for a week that is determined each year by the lunar calendar. Holi, the festival of colors, is the next big celebration, and takes place in spring.

Bright lights of Diwali mark new year, fresh start 10/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:06pm]

    

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