Monday, October 31, 2011

{ Happy DIWALI! }

Diwali is a large 5 day festival here in India (but it's celebrated for about 2 weeks - like the American holiday season!).
The Festival of Lights.
The triumph of good over evil. 
It is the holiday of Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth.
It's huge! 
It's basically like an Indian/Hindu Christmas.
Everyone gives each other gifts, people put up lights everywhere (they string them vertically all over the homes), etc. 
There was a huge boutique/craft fair with numerous vendors at the Blind Association on Lodhi Road. The organization we work with, Maitri, had a booth and we spent a good amount of time shopping around. It was fun because they were a bunch of handmade goods! I wish I had more time to shop. 

For Hindus, Diwali is celebrated with traditional family activities. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha, or salvation, by Mahavira in 527 BC. 

On the actual day of Diwali, the Indians wear new clothes and share sweets with all of their friends and family. 

The oddest thing about Diwali, however, was the firecrackers.
They. never. stopped.
It is said they are set off to drive away evil spirits. 
Firecrackers all day, all night.
They are so loud! It felt like there was a bomb going off.
Basically, it has felt like we've been living in a war zone for the last week and a half. 
But, we're alive :)

For the last 2 weeks, we have entered and exited shops saying "Happy Diwali!" It was fun to be here in India during such a hoppin' time! 

Diwali was fun, the celebration was splendid, but we're glad it's over :) 
Enjoy some fun photos from our celebrations! 

At the office, we were given sarees and balls of sugar for Diwali presents :) 

Photos from Diwali Mela (craft fair)

Maitri's booth - these are used as "door hangers" to adorn the door - kind of like we use a wreath!

Maitri booth with our dear Anita :)

Mintoo baiyah! He's so cute!

Enjoying a husked coconut with juice at the Mela!

The malls is adorned in pretty lights :)

Our local Sector-12 market.

They sell little statues and such (like clay cups for candles, etc.) all over the streets during Diwali. 
Lots of little trinkets.
Laxmi came over and brought us samosas and ice cream to celebrate Diwali :)

These are some fun photos from our Som Vihar Apartment Community Diwali Celebration! We invited our friend, Ankur, from the office and partied hard! 

Playing in the bounce house! 

Lots of catered food - it was a party! 

Ankur bought me an icee/snow cone! It was SO yummy!!!

Dancin' on the dance floor! 

We enjoyed some local dancing!

Groovin' with our sno-ice :)

Sarah won Rs. 500 as Best Female Dancer!! Yes, she's amazing :)

Celebrating the day of Diwali - Wednesday, October 26 - from Udaipur!

Dressed up in the streets for Diwali :)

For Diwali, the people paint outside of their doorstep to invite the Goddess Laxmi into their home, the goddess of wealth, for a prosperous new year!

At the temple in Udaipur with lots of flowers, lights, and streamers to celebrate Diwali! 

Lights and glamour for Diwali! 
Watching firecrackers go off from a rooftop restaurant in Udaipur.

FIREWORKS. That was the best part of Diwali :)
Happy Diwali from Udaipur! Lights on the river. 

Beautiful city on the Lake Picchola!

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