Diwali is a five-day festival of light celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others around the world.

It’s one of the most colourful and significant festivals in Indian culture taking place in family homes and temples of worship. Diwali is a time where traditional foods and sweets are shared among family and friends. Homes are often decorated in colourful lights and candles, followed by an evening display of fireworks.

The festival coincides with the Hindu New Year and normally occurs sometime in late October through early November. For most participants, Diwali is celebrated on Day 3 of the five-day event. This year's festival took place on Oct. 23 and Canadians of Indian descent celebrated across the country. 

At the Gursikh Sabha Canada temple in Toronto, a decision was made to forgo the traditional display of outdoor lights on the temple, as well as a fireworks display, due to the deaths of the two members of the Canadian Armed Forces.


Dozens of candles are lit in a Diwali celebration in the Toronto area, one of many held across the country as part of the five-day festival. (Eric Foss/CBC)

Temple praying

Worshippers pray at the Gursikh Saba Gurdwara in Scarborough, Ont., on Thursday, the three-day mark of the festival. (Eric Foss/CBC)