Wednesday was Diwali :) It's an exciting time of year. For those in America, think of Christmas season... lights, people out shopping and buying things, stores (and markets) full of sales and fun things to buy for loved ones, special TV shows for the holidays, etc... Diwali is a 5 day holiday but Wednesday (the 3rd day of Diwali) is what people usually refer to as "Diwali".
The first day of Diwali is called Dhantaras. During this day people honor and worship Lakshmi (the goddess of Wealth). Purchasing new things - especially in the form of a precious metals like gold or silver - is said to bring good luck and wealth to your family and household for the next year. The more precious metals and more money you spend, the more luck and wealth you will have. This is what one store in our little "mall" looked like (there are only a few stores in the mall open now - it's a new mall)... it was PACKED out! I had so much fun in it... it's kinda like shopping on the day after Thanksgiving - it's awesome! :) haha!
Day two of Diwali is called Choti Diwali (little Diwali). Our local market was so fun and buzzing with activity! Many people were out buying diyas (oil lamps - seen below), sweets, flowers, gifts and firecrackers!
The whole center of the market was full of people selling marigolds. People will have marigolds and mango leaves somewhere in their house for Diwali.
On Diwali we went to the market in the neighborhood over from us. It's a super fun and HUGE market!
This guy (below) drove by the marigold cart and picked up some flowers, hung them on his handle bars and drove on... :)
This is our local market (just a few feet from our house) on Diwali night.
More of our local market... the night of Diwali many people are getting last-minute things like sweets & firecrackers :)
This picture isn't that great but if look closely you can see a man with a big bag full of cotton. The cotton is used for wicks in the diyas. You take a little clay diya and put mustard oil (or other oil) in it. Then you take some cotton and roll it into a wick, put it in the oil and light it!
Many of the business owners in the market did worship at their shops as well as at their homes. The candles are lit for the goddess Lakshmi.
Our downstairs neighbor put their candles around the outside of their house. This candle seemed a little dangerous :) haha!
Most people have rangolis (decorated designs) at the entrance to their house.
This is what a typical middle class house will look like on Diwali... Lights, candles or diyas, rangoli, merigold & mango leaves.
These neighbors have REALLY LOUD fireworks that they've been shooting off for weeks... it's funny though, on Diwali night they didn't set off that many... maybe they used them all up before Diwali :) haha!
Diwali night is FULL of firecrackers!!!!! They go off all night long!!!
These are our upstairs neighbors :) They were having a lot of fun "bursting crackers" :)
The view from our roof is AWESOME! I couldn't really capture it in pictures, but you could see the firecrackers going off all over our area of the city!!! It was awesome!
It's a fun (and LOUD) night :) It's pretty exciting :) haha!