This Thursday, millions of people began celebrating Diwali with fireworks and stunning light displays.
Observed across religions and national borders, Diwali is a multi-day festival that, at its root, honors the triumph of light over dark, righteousness over immorality.
Women and young girls start creating beautiful Rangoli designs on the floor of their homes and everyone in the evening performs Lakshmi puja.
The diyas remain lit on all days to welcome the goddesses.
Others celebrate it simply as a religious festival, paying tribute to the gods and goddess mentioned above, plus, depending on the region of India, the goddess Kali and the god Lord Shiva.
Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists also celebrate this festival of lights, as it's often called, and traditions vary slightly for each.
What remains consistent is the joy and vibrance with which people observe it.
Families decorate their homes with Diyas and Rangoli (elaborate floor designs), while whole communities come together at temples and mandirs to light candles, set off sparklers and fireworks, and remind each other of the light they can create in their own lives.
This festival "is marked with new beginnings, joy, celebration and remembrance of the connection between humanity and divinity," Trivedi says.
Writing an essay on Diwali can be tricky, but it is by no means impossible.