Diwali 2011: The Festival of Lights

Indian chef Parmanand prepares sweets at a kitchen in Amritsar. The sweets are in heavy demand during the upcoming Hindu festival. Diwali, the Indian Hindu celebration where people light up their homes with clay oil lamps and decorative lanterns - is celebrated according to Hindu mythology to welcome the homecoming of Lord Rama after his victory over demon king Ravana.
Narinder Nanu

Millions of people in India have begun preparing for Diwali. 

The word Diwali is a contraction for "Deepawali" which means rows of lighted lamps.  Diwali is known as the festival of lights because houses, shops and public places are decorated with diyas—small eartherware oil lamps.  

In northern India and elsewhere, Diwali celebrates Rama's return after 14 years of exile, his defeat of Ravana, and his coronation as king.  

In old Delhi's a wholesale market, Sadar Bazar, saw a huge rush of people braving the extremely busy and crowded market. Diwali shopping entails new clothes, jewelery and household items like refrigerators and television.