Posted in Divali, Festivals, India

Celebrating Divali with Family and Friends!

Minty
Minty

This year, Divali was on 11 November. For days before houses were lit with flashing multi-coloured lights. Cracker bursting too had begun long before the 11th. On the 11th evening it reached a peak. The sky was lit with rockets, the road outside the house was aflame with sparklers, anars, and all sorts of fire-crackers. And the noise was deafening. After lighting a few diyas I came inside. On TV every actor and ‘important’ person went on about how wonderful it was to celebrate Divali with family and friends.
I too, was celebrating with family and friends. They consisted of: Sweetie, Minty, Pixie, Mini, Maxi, Mitzi, Ashi and Nandu. Here’s how we celebrated. Sweetie was wrapped in a quilt on my bed, until I joined her at night so that she could sleep on my shoulder as she always does. Minty sat on my lap and later had a warm sweater to curl up in. Pixie came inside and dived under the bed in the other bedroom. Mini, Maxi, and Mitzi hid behind boxes in the storeroom. Ashi and Nandu would normally be with them, but for extra safety [as they are black and I had heard of people wanting black cats for Tantric rites], they were in the bathroom, and hid under the sink.
All were safe, even though none were too happy. On my terrace the diyas burned with a soft light. It was the most peaceful house in the area.
[Pixie is a dog, all others are cats. All are rescues].

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Author:

A writer with nine published books and several articles, book reviews etc. I primarily write on history and religion, but would love to switch to fiction.

8 thoughts on “Celebrating Divali with Family and Friends!

  1. Nights in early November here have plenty of fire-crackers, too. Diwali celebrations started in late October. However, the peak fireworks nights are Guy Fawkes night on 5 November, and the following Saturday (if the 5th isn’t a Saturday) for the public display. Where I live, there were spurts of activity leading up to lots of bangs and whooshes on the 11th. A mix, I think, of some neighbours celebrating Diwali, and others using up their Guy Fawkes fireworks.

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    1. I didn’t know you have Divali celebrations there. And Guy Fawkes in New Zealand? That is surprising too–somehow I thought it would be only in England. So much to learn. And I thought most other countries did not allow fireworks in homes?

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  2. Celebrating Divali has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Auckland, Wellington, and (I think) Christchurch all have a day towards the end of October which seems to be as much about celebrating cultural diversity as it is about the religious festival. There is Indian dancing, from classical to Bollywood; plus music and song, food stalls, and sometimes a fireworks display in the evening. A chance to have a good time!

    Guy Fawkes isn’t the event it was when I was a child. Back then there was no restriction on the sale of fireworks. We also used to make “Guys” and wheel them round the streets in pushchairs or trolleys collecting pennies. We didn’t celebrate Hallowe’en, but thought it sounded like fun.
    Nowadays some kids, probably as a result of American movies and TV, dress up and go trick-or-treating, but nobody seems to make “Guys” any more.

    Shops are now permitted to sell fireworks only from 2 to 5 November, and you have to be over 18 to buy them. The types of fireworks that can be sold for home use are restricted, too.

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    1. Are there so many Indians there? Guy Fawkes has never been celebrated here. But my father used to recite a poem every November 5, it began, ‘Remember, remember, the 5th of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot…’. Halloween too is not celebrated, though as you say, with the influence of TV, Halloween parties have started in hotels. There is no limit on firecrackers here, though there is persuasion to reduce the amount.

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    1. Thanks, Ranu. I’ll say hi! You may like to look at First paras, the next post–in the collection there is a story on Bangladesh, would like to know what you think.

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