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Worshippers mark the Hindu Festival of Light in North America, Europe, and Asia. With more than a billion believers, Hinduism is the world`s third largest religion.

A Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil Hindu devotee offers prayers during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, at a temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Hindus light up their homes and pray to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, during Diwali festival.

Eranga Jayawardena/The Associated Press

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In this Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 photo, an Indian widow lights crackers as they celebrate Diwali or the festival of lights at an Ashram in Vrindavan, India. In India, for all of its recent modernization and openness to foreign cultures, being a widow remains one of the worst stigmas a woman can endure, and women are far from equal here. When her husband dies, the widow often becomes a pariah, excluded from family gatherings for fear the mere fall of her shadow will bring bad luck and tragedy.

Rajesh Kumar Singh/The Associated Press

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An Indian trader's laptop screen has pictures of Hindu deities as he performs a rituals to worship his account books on Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights in Ahmadabad, India, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

Ajit Solanki/The Associated Press

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A man speaks to a police officer during Diwali celebrations in Leicester, November 3, 2013. Diwali celebrations in Leicester are one of the biggest outside of India, with up to 35,000 people attending celebrations in the heart of the city's Asian community, according to the Leceister City Council website.


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A man walks down Golden Mile during Diwali celebrations in Leicester, November 3, 2013.


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A girl lights firecrackers celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali, the annual festival of lights, in Mumbai, November 3, 2013.


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A man lights firecrackers celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali, the annual festival of lights, in Mumbai November 3, 2013.


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A poster of the Goddess of wealth Laxmi is seen for sale by a vendor along the streets of Kathmandu during the Tihar festival also called Diwali in Kathmandu November 3, 2013. Hindus all over Nepal are celebrating the Tihar festival also called Diwali during which they worship cows, which are considered a maternal figure, and other animals. Also known as the festival of lights, devotees also worship the goddess of wealth Laxmi by illuminating and decorating their homes using garlands, oil lamps, candles and colourful light bulbs.


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Priest Shri Bhagvan Shastri, left, leads Rashi and Naval Bajaj in prayers and offerings for prosperity and peace to the gods Ganesha Ji and Lakshmi during Diwali celebrations in the Bajaj household in Brampton, Ontario early morning on Sunday Nov. 3, 2013. Diwali, the five-day Hindu festival of lights - an official holiday in India - involves lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. (Editor's note: An earlier version of this caption incorrectly spelled the last name of the Bajaj household. This version has been corrected)

Tim Fraser

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