Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Diwali!

Diwali, or the festival of lights is the Hindu equivalent of Christmas :) The five day festival starts with cleaning up & decorating your house to welcome Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth) and goes on till Bhai dooj.

According to lore, Lord Rama, having defeated the demons in Lanka, returned to Ayodhya with his bride and his posse, on a no moon night. So to welcome him, everybody lit rows and rows of lamps. That's what gives the festival its name. Diwali = short for Deepavali = Row of lamps! And that's also how the festival came to signify the triumph of good over evil.

Traditional decorations include oil-lamps and Rangoli. Inexpensive and beautiful. Back home, my sister and I made really quick and classy Rangolis using rangoli powder, flowers and lamps.

But for the last three years, I did not make a Rangoli, in part because we were renting (I did not want to stain the tile and pay through my teeth later) and partly for lack of enthusiasm - its no fun to make a Rangoli all by yourself!

But this year, it'll be our first Diwali in our new house, and Gudia is with me! So we wanted to make one. She researched and came up with an awesome design. Then we went shopping for Rangoli colours, only to find out that the Indian store didn't have even the primary colors, they were sold in 'bottles'(!) and were ripping us off!! So we decided to use dyed rice. Gudia found out all about dyeing rice, and made batches of all the colours we'd need. We also used some glitter for embellishment.

All done, this is what you see when you enter -

Get a bit closer and there the Rangoli is, in all its splendor!

Thanks to my adorable little sister - she did all the work! And to my patient husband - no questions asked :)

Here's wishing y'all a Very Happy Diwali!
May the coming year bring to you all things good!

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