My First Diwali

Today is the last day of DIWALI, India’s five-day festival of lights. What a grand celebration! Let me tell you all about my first time experiencing this in India…

Diwali literally means a “row of lights.” During this festival, we light diyas candles all around our house. The lights signify the triumph of good over evil. I love these lights! Beautiful diyas of all kinds – colored tea lights, hand-painted, mirrored, and the traditional tiny earthen pots filled with oil and a wick (my favorite).  Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, will be arriving during this festival – we light up the house to welcome her.

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Festival cleaning and decorating. Woohoo! Clean windows, fresh curtains, removing the dust that has collected underneath your bed, and on that ledge above your desk which used to be a pigeons’ nest. Furniture re-arranging and new kitchen gadgets! We clean and decorate the house so that when the Gods and Goddess’s come, they will be comfortable.

Diwali brings the bugs. Crunchy hard beetles that fall in love with lightbulbs. Pestering pests that keep running into the windows from outside. Yuck. Ew.

Fancy new clothes. We must look our best for the Gods when they arrive. This is my first time wearing a saree. Nine-to-five feet of fabric expertly draped to pure elegance. 20131105-195710.jpg

Sweets! During Diwali, every shop is selling fresh delicious mitai. Besan ladoos, kaju katli, pedas, jalebi, chocolates, and much more. It is the perfect excuse to take a few days off and indulge in sweet bliss. I made some chocolate walnut toffee bark (pictured in the top left).

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BOOM! BANG! Firecrackers exploding at all hours of the day, 5am to now as I sit writing this. Sparklers, wailing whizzers, screamos, and what-have-yous. High in the sky. On your front porch. The air is heavy with gunpowder smoke. The ground is littered with cracker cases. These are fired off to drive away the evil spirits. 20131105-160332.jpg

Being with people you love. Diwali is the time when all family and friends get together to just chill out, play rummi, watch Pirates of the Caribbean, and eat yummy food.20131105-160341.jpg

 

HAPPY DIWALI! Thanks for joining me in the celebrations. I’m sure if you listen close enough, you will hear some of our fireworks from wherever you are in the world.20131105-160320.jpg

Much love,

More later,

SONIA

 

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