The Festival of Lights does just that―light up the homes and hearts of communities all over the world. During the five-day period, people’s homes are lit up by ‘diyas’ (earthen candles or small clay lamps), and the exteriors are often decorated with electric lights. Inside the home, one will find intricate rangoli art, which are patterns on the floor created by either rice or colored powder. Neighbors’ exchange gifts, and the emphasis is often on sweets, dried fruit, and other gifts. It is also a time to share with those in need and give freely to members of the community who have little.
The air is rich with the smell of incense, the acrid smell of burning crackers, and the aromas coming from the kitchen. The celebration features various rich savoury and sweet dishes, and while eating out is popular, families will mostly prepare food at home for when guests arrive to exchange gifts and watch fireworks.
To some, Diwali celebrations are loud and colorful, with people vying for who have the loudest and brightest firework! For some, Diwali means the annual cleaning and decorating of the house. And for some, it means the last bit of sweets, the end of an array of Hindu celebrations before you start dieting to get into that evening gown on New Year’s Eve!
May this festival of lights bring you peace, prosperity, success, health and great happiness!