It’s weekend, which is good. The sun is shining, which is also good. And a new festival is around the corner, which is just great! Next week is the Diwali festival. Like most festivals here in India, it lasts for a few days. Five to be precise. Diwali is known as the festival of lights. Diwali comes from the word Deepvalia, which means “row of lamps”. So during this festival there are lamps everywhere. The shops have off course taken this opportunity to sell some extra stuff. As I do try to do a bit like the locals, I also had to buy some candles today. This you can see at the picture below.
Not just do we use candles. We also use this other kind of lamps, which I don’t really know the name of. But it might be that I will have some of them in my flat soon.
Some, or maybe most, kids have another way to create row of lamps during the festival. They use firecrackers! And a lot of them. Already now you can see and hear kids with cap pistols in the streets. And I do think that shops are selling more fireworks than they are selling candles. My colleagues have warned me that on the most important day during the festival, Wednesday the 3rd to be precise, there will be so much firework that the whole air will be polluted! Let’s see. I’m looking forward to it anyway. Now when I write this, it is early Saturday evening, and I can a lot of firecrackers outside.
Diwali also have a religious meaning. It is important both in Hinduism, Jainism and in Sikhism. In Hinduism, Deepavali marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating (the demon king) Ravana, the ruler of Lanka, in the epic Ramayana. In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha by Mahavira in 527 BC. In Sikhism, Deepavali commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir; the people lit candles and diyas to celebrate his return. This is the reason Sikhs also refer to Deepavali as Bandi Chhorh Divas, “the day of release of detainees”. (This text is taken directly from Wikipedia).
During Diwali it is also normal to create Rangolis at the ground. Rangolis are basically powder that are scattered at the ground in nice shapes. Hopefully I will be able to see some of this during the festival and picture it. So far I have only seen it in the shops where the Rangoli powder is sold.
It should be an interesting week!
Talk to you soon!