10/17/2014 08:51 EDT | Updated 12/17/2014 05:59 EST

Diwali events in Vancouver and Surrey

October marks a special occasion for the South Asian community: Diwali, the festival of light.

The holiday celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. In India, Diwali is often celebrated by lighting small oil lamps called diyas and setting off fireworks.

In the Lower Mainland, you can celebrate this festive occasion at the 11th annual DiwaliFest. The festival starts Friday, Oct. 17, and continues throughout the next 10 days.

Here are three events to check out at this year's festival:

1. IndiGlam: Diwali opening party

- Crown Palace Banquet Hall, Surrey

October 17, 7:00 p.m. – late

Fashionistas rejoice! This year's festival launch will feature a fashion show with two new lines of clothing from Surrey's Crossover Bollywood Sé. There will also be dance performances from Shiamak Dance and MalavikaSantosh and live music. And food. Lots of food.

2. Diwali Downtown (Vancouver and Surrey)

- Surrey City Hall

Oct. 18, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

- Roundhouse Community Centre

Oct. 25, 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Diwali Downtown is the festival's landmark event. This year, it has expanded to include Surrey. You can expect a variety of performances from classical Indian dance to infectious bhangra rhythms. There will also be an Indian bazaar with crafts and food. And it's free!

3. Chai House

- Orpheum Annex

Oct. 23, 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Sit back and enjoy drinks and nibbles at this cabaret-style event. The show will feature dance and musical acts based on jugalbandi, a style of performance where two soloists battle it out on stage in playful competition.

For details on these and other events, visit the DiwaliFest website.