Photo Courtesy: Kkalyan on Flickr
Share your happiness and spread the light.
Participate in the Diwali Dhamaka on Answers. Answer the three questions below and if your answer is selected as the best answer win 500 points for each best answer!
Photo Courtesy: Cprogrammer on Flickr
Each state in India has a different way of sharing happiness and spreading the light that Diwali brings. In Karnataka, Diwali traditionally begins a day prior to the festival with the ‘Neer thumbo habba’ literally ‘water-filling day’. The idea is to scrub and wash your bathrooms and fill tanks with water. In olden days when there were water tanks in the bathrooms, this was a way of ensuring hygiene and cleanliness and symbolised filling one’s home with wealth. Once this was done, the lady of the house lit a lamp in the bathroom and prayed to the house-hold Gods as the others clapped their hands or beat drums. She would then distribute sweets to the family. The next morning, the day of Diwali begins before sunrise with an oil massage and bath. The family then pray to the Gods, wear their new clothes and go out to burst the first cracker of the day that heralds the beginning of Diwali.
As a child, my favourite custom was the bursting of that first cracker. And my father always ensured I was the one to light the cracker that then boomed loudly and woke the neighbourhood. It somehow made me feel important and brave. I’m sure you have a similar favourite custom. How do you celebrate Diwali in your state? What are the customs you like the most and why? What is the best part of Diwali for you?
Photo Courtesy: Siddhu 2020 on Flickr
Floating candles, floral carpets, twinkling diyas (lights), all contribute to making your house more beautiful on Diwali. Now that we no longer burst crackers in my family, I tend to go slightly crazy with the number of lights and candles I light to celebrate this beautiful festival. I knew a neighbour who made her own colourful candles and placed them strategically to enhance the beauty of her home. Flower garlands also add to the festivity and cheer. Do you have other ideas? How do you decorate your house for Diwali? Share them with other Answerers.
Photo Courtesy: Shubharnab on Flickr
After reading about pollution in school and the reports that newspapers carried post Diwali, about how bursting crackers had adversely influenced the environment, I decided not to burst crackers anymore. It was by no means a happy decision because I love to burst crackers. Bursting crackers was a community thing. It was a great way of having fun with my neighbours and friends. But it had to be done. And while I still feel a pang at not bursting crackers, I’m quite glad that I decided not to. So now we have parties with delightful food and drinks and spend the night talking and may be dancing. Some of my friends also play cards through the night. So we are still having fun and Diwali is still a favourite festival but it’s not at the cost of the environment. Do you have a fun way of celebrating the festival that doesn’t involve bursting too many crackers that not only scare animals and small children in your neighbourhood but are also very harmful to the environment?
So go on and share your answers and tips and memories!
And of course, a very Happy Diwali to all of you!
Stay happy and safe.
- Bhumika Anand