United States President Joe Biden extended his Diwali wishes to India on Sunday, calling the festival a "light of wisdom, love, and unity over the darkness of ignorance, hate, and division."
“Over the course of generations, South Asian Americans have woven Diwali traditions into the fabric of our nation – symbolizing the message of seeking the light of wisdom, love, and unity over the darkness of ignorance, hate, and division.
"It’s a message that has helped our nation emerge stronger from the past few difficult years, and matters now more than ever. On this Diwali, may we reflect on the strength of our shared light and embrace the enduring spirit of this holiday and of our nation.
"To the more than one billion Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists celebrating in America and around the world, we wish you a happy Diwali,” Biden said in his Diwali message.
One of the most popular Hindu festivals, Diwali is associated with the day Lord Ram is believed to have returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman after defeating Ravana during his 14 years in exile and is seen as a celebration of the victory of good over evil.
President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of the country and hoped the festival will bring happiness and wellbeing.
Like previous years, Prime Minister Modi celebrated Diwali with soldiers. This time it was in Lepcha in Himachal Pradesh.
"India is protected till the time my bravehearts are standing on the borders, unflinching as the Himalayas," the prime minister said.