Though I am far from being an experienced or deeply knowledgable participant in the Festival of Lights, I love what the five day celebration symbolizes; light and prosperity. Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and even some Buddhists recognize Diwali for different reasons, yet core to the festival is the idea of light or enlightenment.
Personally, I will light a candle and chant a brief mantra in order to pay homage to Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is important to be mindful that Lakshmi represents both spiritual [inner] and material [outer] abundance. It is not necessary to believe Lakshmi is literarily floating around on her Lotus in outer-space, the act is done to connect with your own inner Lakshmi – your own capacity for creating a prosperous life. In Ayurvedic Medicine Lakshmi is equivalent to the rajas energy; therefore, I will have a hearty vegetarian dinner to ground the lighter energy! Finally, it is worthwhile to extend compassion, empathy, and positive thoughts to those who are not as fortunate at this time. I will particularly keep in mind those who still do not have light (i.e., no power whatsoever) from Hurricane Sandy’s wrath. Allow the light to show your path, allow the light to warm your heart. Om Shanti.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light,” Plato.