Diwali is my absolute favorite festival. I love the lights, diyas, colors…just about everything associated with the festival.
The almost two weeks leading up to Diwali (it’s on 5th November this year) feel like holiday season. I took a day off work just to go to the Blind School mela, an annual ritual for the husband and me. They have a variety of stalls selling the most beautiful and unusal stuff, ranging from furniture to lamps, pottery to jewelery, and clothes to knick-knacks. From there, we headed over to the potters market near Sarojni Nagar to buy diyas (small earthenware oil lamps) and idols of Ganesh and Lakhsmi. An entire day spent shopping, rounded off with dinner at Fez Dining, one of my favorite hangouts at Malcha Marg.
The atmosphere was festive, with people out doing their Diwali shopping and all the shops and malls and houses beautifully decorated with lights and lamps…I wish we could have at least 3 days off for the festival, but alas. All we get is the one day off for Diwali.
For those of you who don’t know much about the festival, here’s an overview of Diwali:
Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that go with the festival are different in different parts of India.
The Times of India summed up the modern meaning of Diwali as follows:
Regardless of the mythological explanation one prefers, what the festival of lights really stands for today is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple – and some not so simple – joys of life.
Diwali is known as the “festival of lights” because houses, shops and public places are decorated with diyas (these days fairy lights). The lamps are traditioanlly lit to help the goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) find her way into people’s homes. They also celebrate one of the Diwali legends, which tells of the return of Rama and Sita to Rama’s kingdom after 14 years of exile.
What do you love about the festival of lights?