1. ITV Report

A story behind Diwali, the festival of lights

Two people lighting candles ahead of Diwali Photo: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP/Press Association Images

Diwali is one of the most well-known South Asian religious festivals.

Celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, it is known as the festival of lights, celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. Diwas (candle-lit lamps) are put inside and outside of homes and businesses.

There are many reasons people celebrate Diwali and the story of Prince Rama and Sita is one of them, often recited to children over the festival period.

Rama was exiled from his home for 14 years by his father, King Dashratha, who ruled over the kingdom of Ayodhya. Rama's stepmother Queen Kaikeyi had wanted her sons to become King, not Dashratha's eldest sons Rama and Lakshmana. She forced the King to send the two into exile. They obeyed and moved with Rama's wife Sita to live in the forest.

One day, the demon Ravana kidnapped Sita and it was up to Rama, his brother Lakshmana and the monkey king, Hanuman, to save her. After a fierce battle between Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman with Ravana's armies, the demon was defeated. As 14 years had passed, they then returned home with Sita. Oil lamps were lit to guide them on their way home and to rejoice their victory.

A murti (statue) of Lord Rama, Sita and Hanuman at BAPS Shri Credit: ITV Central

Children are read the story, reminding them of the victory of good over evil.

In Leicester, thousands of people attend the annual Diwali celebrations. Earlier in the month, the Golden Mile's Diwali lights were switched on.

Tonight, the road will be closed and people from all cultures and faiths will join in the celebrations.

6.00pm - Belgrave Flyover and Belgrave Road closed

6.45pm - Stage entertainment at Cossington Street Recreation Ground8.30pm - Firework display8.50pm - Firework display ends9.30pm - Belgrave Road re-opens

More information can be found on the Leicester City Council website. )

For road closures in Leicester this evening see here.