The Hindu festival of lights is an occasion that brings out the best in each and every inhabitant of India – shopping for gifts, eating rich sweets, visiting family and friends, lighting up your home, playing cards and gambling, buying new clothes, and ushering in a new year.
Lighting little oil lamps, or “diyas”, symbolizes this, and everywhere in India, on Diwali night, “diyas” are lit, casting a magical feel to neighbourhoods. Houses are decked with scores of little lanterns, and, increasingly in a city like Delhi, with rows of fairy lights.
Houses are a blaze of lights. Diyas and fairy lights and lanterns and tinsel – homes literally are an extravagance of colour and sensory overload.
Days before Diwali, people begin shopping with a vengeance. Traditionally, you offer sweets and dry fruit to family, friends and colleagues at Diwali, and then you criss-cross the city to deliver them, leading to mega festival-induced traffic jams. But as this season is also one for huge festive discounts, people traditionally shop for major household purchases, too, so between the boxes of sweets, and the new fridge, and the new clothes for all those Diwali parties, this is a great time of the year for business. Shops – all decorated with lights and tinsel – stay open even later than usual, and shopping centres are jam-packed.
Reflecting tradition wrapped in modernity, playing cards is extremely popular on Diwali day. It is said that on playing cards, the goddess of wealth smile upon the player and ensures her goodwill. The memories of Diwali night can be joyful to the winners and the losers can’t wait for the next Diwali to come around.
This day, with its emphasis on money, is also considered lucky for gambling by playing cards. Giving social sanction to a vice, a popular saying states that one who does not gamble on this day will reborn as a donkey in his next birth. Casinos and local gambling houses do brisk business during the Diwali week.
In most homes, people invite their friends and relatives over to play cards. Friends get together to indulge in games of cards. Playing cards has long been an inexpensive form of entertainment for family gatherings. So playing cards in the days leading up to Diwali has become a social adjunct to this religious tradition. Card parties are as much a part of present Diwali as lighting up your home.
Ever festival in Delhi has its own spark and charm. Diwali start from lighting up home to decorating it with flowers to playing cards. For some playing cards is just for fun and for one night but for some it’s a night for gambling, or a moment to earn money with not much affords.
The night skies on Diwali are a riot of fireworks, which get more and more extravagant each yearFor days – weeks even – before Diwali, youngsters roam the streets, setting off patakas or firecrackers, the night soundscape interrupted by volleys of explosions.
The only down side to all this noisy happiness, is that pets, and all the stray dogs that live in India’s streets are absolutely terrorized.
1. Most of the shops you buy these from, do not adhere to the Excise Dept guidelines.
2. Crackers release a lot of Ultra-violet and Infrared radiation, which are harmful to the eyes and the body parts.
3. Diwali (Deepavali) is a festival of lights, not sound. Crackers can cause deafness.
4. Maximum number of Burn cases are reported in the Diwali season due to the improper use of crackers.
5. Humans might be able to protect themselves, but the crackers have a deep physical and mental impact upon animals.
6. Most crackers do not adhere to the Govt guidelines on Noise pollution and the sound of these crackers is above the permitted levels. In short, many are Illegal.
7. Levels of Air pollution, which are already high in India, reach astronomical levels on Diwali and can be very harmful to the human body.
8. Crackers and Fireworks are the single largest cause of respiratory diseases like Bronchial Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis and other Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.
So, hopefully, you would have a fun-filled, beautiful and cracker free Diwali.
HAPPY DIWALI GUYS.. ENJOY URSELF AND PARTY HARD.