The city of Ayodhya in northern India earned a Guinness World Record on Tuesday after setting more than 300,000 lamps aflame for the Hindu festival of Diwali.
Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated by Hindus around the world as a celebration of the triumph of light and good over darkness and evil. In India, it’s one of the country’s most important holidays of the year, celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
For this year’s celebration, the city lit up 301,152 diyas, or clay lamps, on the banks of the river Saryu and kept them alight for 45 minutes to earn the Guinness record for largest display of oil lamps, according to Associated Press.
Ayodhya tried to set a record last year but strong winds blew over many of the lamps. “Last time we missed it by a whisper but this time we ensured that all the lamps were aglow,” one of the 5,000 volunteers who was involved in the ceremony told the Associated Press. “Oil was poured frequently, and we used sheets to block wind where it was very windy.”
The record-breaking event was attended by Kim Jung-sook, the first lady of South Korea, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Performances from Laotian, Russian, Indian and Trinidadian artists rounded out the extravaganza.
Typical Diwali celebrations include firework displays and the creation of rangoli, color patterns on the floor made of rice or powder.
The previous record was set by Haryana on Sept. 23, 2016 with 150,009 lamps.
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