Diwali is a Tamil festival of light. According to Hindu mythology, the gods begged Krishna to rid the world of the demon Naraka who tormented heaven and earth. One night Krishna beheaded the tyrant with his divine disc, the chakra. On a symbolic level, the night represents the ignorance of human beings in their divine essence and the chakra the knowledge that cuts through this ignorance.
In Reunion Island, Diwali, one of the most important Tamil festivals, is an opportunity to celebrate Lakshmi, Goddess of Light and Prosperity. Believers, in traditional dress, walk with candles in a night time procession and light small terracotta lamps at home. During the day, neighbours and friends visit each other and give each other pastries. For the general public, temples can only be visited on the outside. Several towns on the island celebrate Diwali: Saint-André in the East, Saint-Pierre in the South, Saint Paul in the West, Saint-Denis in the North.
Seeing the Indian culture come alive in Saint-André is an exceptional experience. In 2016, the city organised its 27th Diwali, from 26 to 30 October, on the theme of "peace and inner light".