Deepavali is an ancient Indian tradition, but its message of light through darkness and good over evil is something that resonates with all cultures.
More than 15,000 people are expected to attend Deepavali celebrations in Perth this weekend.
They started last night, with the Supreme Court Gardens transformed into an arena of music, dance and song from around the world.
The Swan Festival of Lights, now in its fifth year, will showcase traditional Hindi dances alongside Ukrainian folk dancing, West African percussion and Spanish flamenco.
Hundreds of performers will take to the stage over the five-day event.
Event manager Ganesh Arulampalam said the festival celebrated multiculturalism and inclusiveness.
"Literally translated, Deepavali means festival of lights and traditionally people would put lights around their homes," he said.
"The deeper meaning is about the light within which exists in every being no matter who you are or where you come from and the ability of this light to shine through and overcome darkness.
"It's about good over evil, tyranny over oppression and knowledge over ignorance - concepts all cultures can relate to and understand."The Swan Festival of Lights will continue until Tuesday, beginning at 4.30pm with vegetarian food from Annalakshmi on the Swan, performances from 6.30pm and then ending in nightly fireworks displays.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.