Happy Diwali – Day 3 of 5

Happy Diwali – Day 3 of 5

There is a whiff in the air that speaks all things festive.

Month long preparations, cleaning of the houses, stitching of new clothes, buying gifts for friends and family, hunting for the best decorations in the city, comes together in culmination today.

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Diwali holds immense importance in the lives of the people, for which there are multiple explanations. The most common understanding is the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya on this night of Amavasya. On this dark night, people lit diyas and candles all around the city and in their homes to welcome the Lord back to Ayodhya.
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Preparations begin early at dawn, in celebration of the Festival of Lights. There is fresh IMG_4650fragrance of flowers being mounted at the doorstep, an aroma of the sweets being prepared for puja is eminent when it overtakes the subtle smell of your newly purchased scented candles.
Houses are lavishly decorated today, in a manner that evokes a feeling of royalty. Come dusk, come mitti ke diye aur sarson ka tel! (Mud diyas and mustard oil). Every corner of the house beginning from the entrance is lit up with diyas. The fairy lights that go crazy are the circumference around doors. Rangolis add the colorful element to the purifying glow of the divas.

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It is believed Hindu mythology that Goddess Lakshmi visits the cleanest home to shower her blessings of prosperity for the upcoming year. For this reason, people set up their homes in magnificent decorations and light candles to welcome the Goddess of wealth. The festivities, in food and decoration, kindle a warm contentment. It helps with the chilly weather too!

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Families adorn new traditional clothes and get together for an elaborate puja in the evening. The sounds of the fire crackers enthuse the voices that sing aartis (prayer songs) in praises of the Lords, and prayers for the success of every member of the family. There is new found feeling of hope and happiness sitting amidst the prayers, singing along with your loved ones.

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Diwali is also becomes an occasion on which people host parties and invite friends and families over to play a game of cards, which is a popular tradition. Kids go out and burst their rather studied collection of fire crackers.

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It is a spirit, an enthusiasm, an emotion, which is ineffable. It is a fervor one is blessed to experience. It makes you feel whole; it makes you happy.

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Photography – Savina Shah, Madhav Sethi, Kshaema Susan Mathew, Trishima Reddy

Written by Radhika Sethi, with Vineet Sethi.
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