Asia

Diwali fireworks

And there will be Diwali fireworks tomorrow around the world following the damp squib of the Covid years.

Granted that India put on a party last year as they moved out of restrictions but this year will feel like a normal Diwali again.

Diwali marks a special point in the Hindu cycle and also in my lifespan as a paid scribbler, a Diwali festival being the first story I covered for a newspaper.

A five-day festival starting, it takes place on the night of the new moon and so corresponds with the end of the harvest around mid-October or early November.

And it being darker earlier then Diwali focuses on lights or deeps/lamps and fireworks.

Diwali is just a box of chocolates

Dance away: Diwali

Diwali crosses the cultures and religions of the Subcontinent with different derivations depending on the region you visit.

And so for those of us who aren’t Indian what we want to know is how to party like an Indian.

Go local and if you are invited, deffo join a family’s festivities in Delhi, Mumbai, or Jaipur to see first-hand how they celebrate.

And the form is to take a box of Indian sweets or chocolates as a thank you gesture.

The magic lamps

Light up, light up: The Golden Temple

The Golden Temple in Amritsar in Punjab is on the itinerary of most travellers to India.

And Diwali is a glorious time to visit, for the brilliant fireworks display and innumerable lamps.

Varanasi too is right up there for Diwali watchers and the the ghats (steps down to the bathing waters) and diyas (lamps).

You want to see a community puja (worship), then visit Kolkata to see the goddess Kali in neighborhood pandals (cloth and bamboo structures) across the city.

Mumbai mix

Get on your bike: To Mumbai

There’s a real Mumbai mix in that city’s air with the night sky aglow with paper lanterns called kandeels.

While if you like scary effigies then Goa-goers can enjoy the sight of giant effigies paraded on the street.

India, of course, still remains on the radar after my largesse got the better of me when I was editing in Ireland.

And I sent a couple of very different colleagues there in my place as guests of Incredible India.

Indian treat

Candle in the India: And a message of hope

One for World Yoga Day… and she tied me up in knots with the organisation, while playing the diva along the way.

And a more deserving candidate whose professionalism saw him manage to extricate himself through the idiosyncracies of Indian bureaucracy to deliver a sumptuous review.

I wouldn’t though like to bring either up as this is a time of peace and Diwali fireworks.

Where, of course, I travel I usually find my peripatetic parents have gone before, latterly with Saga travel.

And my Dear Old Mum has strode forth to take on whichever local activity is before her, while alas my Dad was grumbly in his tummy, here with Delhi belly.

 

 

 

 

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