Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Diwali is India’s most widely celebrated festival, an occasion that serves to remind humanity of the triumph of good over evil. On the night of the autumn new moon (between October and November), cities, towns, and villages in India sparkle with the glow of oil lamps, candles, and tiny string lights that decorate houses, walls, gardens, and public spaces. This array of lights is called deepavali in Sanskrit, and the modern Hindi term “Diwali” is derived from that. The festival is a most distinctive cultural and religious marker.