Sikhs celebrate Diwali by setting off firecrackers, displaying candles in their windows and doorways and decorating the outside of their homes and buildings with lights. Called the Festival of Lights or the Festival of Lamps, Dewali celebrates the release of Guru Hargobind by the Emporer Jahangir in 1619. After his release, Sikhs lit the Golden Temple, and the tradition has continued into modern days.
In addition to celebrating the release of the Guru, the festival has several other traditional meanings. Many Hindus believe that the festival celebrates the marriage of Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu or that it is a time to celebrate Lord Ganesha. In Bangal, Diwali is centered around Mother Kali. Some celebrants also believe that the festival gets people ready for the long, grueling winter ahead.
Diwali lasts four days, and it takes place in late November or early December. Each of the four days is tied to a different story, and there are different traditions that take place each day. On the final day, it is customary for sisters to invite their brothers to their homes.
Traditionally, oil lamps were used to light homes for Diwali, but now Sikhs living in India, England and other parts of the world use electric lights.