DIWALI, the festival of lights, which is symbolic of all things good, is celebrated on November 7 this year and preparations for the celebrations have already begun. Diwali is one of the largest festivals celebrated in many parts of the world. This is also a spiritual time where we invite God into our homes with the lighting of dhiyas (clay lamps). Traditionally, families wake up early and apply a mixture of three oils onto their bodies which have properties to calm the soul, body and mind. Sweetmeats are prepared and distributed among family and friends. The distribution of sweets symbolises sweet words throughout relationships. Many South African families perform a “hawan” and pray together, thereafter celebrations begin with music, dancing and fireworks, said Nikaara Singh a Port Shepstone resident. The Ramayan is a legendary story in the Hindu scriptures of Lord Raam who endured 14 years of exile. When Lord Raam returned to Ayodhya he was welcomed by a host of people who were awaiting his arrival to take his rightful place as king. They lit the path with lights, which is why Diwali is known as the festival of lights.