Monday, 12 November 2012

Happy Diwali 2012!

Today India celebrates the festival of Dewali. From our front veranda in Tiruvannamalai, I can hear the distant popping of firecrackers and exploding of bottle rockets. Before making India my home nearly 18 months ago, I had always thought of Diwali as a quiet 'festival of lights' full of sweets, candles, friends, family and gifts of new clothes for the children.

As luck would have it, last year I spent Diwali 2011 in Chennai where the sound of firecrackers and bottle rockets shook the windows and rattled plates and glasses in my kitchen. I found myself diving for cover until I finally acclimated to the constant explosions. I wasn't prepared at all for the 'real' Diwali. After doing a bit of research, I found that, traditionally, firecrackers were used to chase away evil spirits. Now, it seems that the louder and noisier the pyrotechnics, the better. It's a 48 hour show stopping celebration sure to rival any 4th of July type extravaganza in the US.

My office is closed today, so it really is a day off to relax, work in the garden, eat some sticky sweet treats and enjoy the noise and celebration that is Diwali in India.