Every year in India, people celebrate Diwali. It is a Hindu celebration of lights that takes place each fall. It’s the nation’s biggest festival, and it celebrates the victory of good over evil. The festival includes putting lights on housetops, in windows, in doorways and other parts of buildings. Festival preparations usually take about five days. To get ready, people clean and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, people put on their best clothes, light lamps and candles and conduct family prayers. After the prayers are fireworks, and people exchange gifts and have a big meal.
Diwali is also celebrated in other countries, including Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
Oct. 31 is Halloween. People young and old dress up in costumes and share scary stories. Children go trick-or-treating and have fun together. No one is sure how trick-or-treating started as a tradition. Some people think it dates back to pre-Christian Celtic festivals about 2,000 years ago. Others say it has its roots in a British custom called Guy Fawkes Night, where children wear masks and beg for pennies. It’s likely that some colonists celebrated Guy Fawkes Night and the tradition continued here.
Americans spend about $6 billion on Halloween every year. It’s the second-largest commercial holiday in the U.S.