Happy Diwali #Dubai
Often referred to as the festival of lights, (or Deepavali in south India), #Diwali is a time for religious rituals and sharing traditional stories. It’s also an opportunity to spruce up the home, buy new clothes, and, of course, enjoy parties, feasting and an exchange of gifts.
The five days of Diwali
Two days before the main festival day, it’s considered good luck to buy a metallic kitchen implement, such as a steel ladle, or, if budget allows, a more extravagant kitchen appliance.
The day before Diwali is known as ‘chotti Diwali’ (or ‘little Diwali’). Traditionally, it was a day for getting on with preparations for the big day, but now it’s also an opportunity for last-minute errands and gift exchanges. It’s also a time when intricate floral and geometrical designs, known as ‘rangoli’, are created on floors using coloured powders, rice flour and flower petals.
The third day is the main Diwali celebration. As the sun sets, prayers are said to Lakshmi and Ganesh, then dozens of clay lamps are arranged around the house. Firework displays follow, but in recent years these have been scaled back due to noise and air pollution concerns. This doesn’t dampen the party spirit, though – especially as there’s a lavish dinner to enjoy.
Activities on the day after Diwali will vary across different regions. In north India, for example, the morning is dedicated to worshipping the tools of work. Chefs will pay homage to their kitchen implements, businessmen will venerate their ledgers, and artists will offer gratitude for their paints and palettes.
On the fifth and final day of Diwali celebrations, sisters pray for the well-being of their brothers, and receive sweetmeats and gifts in return.