These days Hindus and other nations in South Asia start celebrating their Light Holiday -Diwali. But economic crisis influences the tradition in a negative way.
Diwali is a significant festival in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and an official holiday in India. Adherents of these religions celebrate Diwali as the Festival of Lights. They light diyas—cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual.
In India and Nepal, Diwali is now considered to be a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians and Nepalese regardless of faith.
On the day of Diwali many wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks. Some North Indian business communities start their financial year on Diwali and new account books are opened on this day. But one Diwali tradition, buying gold, is changing because of high prices.
It's a busy time of year for jewelers in London's East End. Many in this neighborhood are from South Asia and are celebrating Diwali. Store managers say buying gold bars or coins is traditional at this time of year.
But with the price of gold at an all time high, things are changing. Customers are looking at other precious metals, like platinum. Now only about $300 more an ounce than gold.
Voice of America contributed to the report
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