Happy Diwali!

The festival of lights is here! It’s my favorite – a day when the house is adorned with flowers, colorful rangolis decorate the entrance, diyas are lit all over. A day for family and loved ones. A night of twinkling lights, of visiting friends and neighbors and relatives, and yes, of those infuriating fireworks that go on until all hours of the night!

I typically spend the first half of the day making a rangoli outside the door with flower petals, while the husband hangs garlands of marigold and Ashoka leaves at the entrance, in the balcony and on some of the doors. After relaxing in the afternoon, it’s time for pooja (prayers) in the evening, then we spend a quiet evening listening to music, drinking wine, talking. Bliss!

This year, my mother will be in town for Diwali, so we’ll go over to a cousin’s house after the pooja. That should be fun!

Happy Diwali

The window display at The Wishing Chair, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi

Here’s wishing all of you a very, very happy and prosperous Diwali. Be safe. Be happy!

If you’d like some more information on the festival of Diwali, take a look at these articles:

It’s the festival of lights! (An older post that gives some details on Diwali)
Light that lamp
(A brief look at how and why Diwali is celebrated by different religions, from thehindu.com)

It's the festival of lights!

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a prime fes...

Diwali diyas

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.


A potter at Dilli Haat

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:


A still from Ramayana (animated 3D movie)

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.

Wikipedia has an informative and detailed wiki on Diwali and if you like, you can read more about the different legends of Diwali as well.

What do you love about the festival of lights?