Right. The biggest festival of them all is upon us.
Deepavali (as I like to call it) signifies much more than what most of us believe it to be. And surely more than “Festival of Lights”.
It is also the festival of sounds by the way, which have fallen silent due to silly rules that apply only in India at this time. Everywhere else in the world, one is able to purchase crackers without the risk of jail time. The irony.
Well, Deepavali is also the time when a lot happens at home – the cleaning, the decorations, the exchanges of gifts, the clothes for the young ones – a time for celebration and festivity.
It does start with Rama Ekādashi though, on the 1st of November. My tithi birthday this year. Then comes Dhanteras – the day when we purchase gold, silver and other material stuff. Choti Diwali comes next, followed by Diwali on Amavasya on the 4th.
Then is Govardhan Puja on the 5th and Bhai Dooj on the 6th, which I understand is celebrated in a very big way in Nepal as well.
I will be writing throughout the week, but I would like to leave you today with a thought. Send gifts to your friends and family, but also make gifts for the people who work for you at home – the maids, the gardener, the security guards in your building…make those gifts slightly better than the ones that you make for your friends…they have the means and they will get such gifts from many others…but your maid and your guards may not.
Buy local, and Indian-made items. No Cadbury sweets for Deepavali please. Ladoos, Kaju Katli, matthi, karanji, shakar para…traditional sweets. No fancy cookies and chocolate – that isn’t us:)
Light diyas in earthen lamps – no Chinese fake electric diyas…oil and ghee in the diyas…
A lot of fresh flowers, fruits and sweetmeats…new clothes, new beginnings…
And yes, crackers. One day will not wreck the environment – you can make up some other time. Deepavali is cracker-time, so make it a point to buy crackers and burst them!
Small list of things to do…looking forward to it…
See you tomorrow!