Diwali is one of India’s biggest festivals. Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. And true to form Stuart and I have certainly seen a lot of said pretty glowing lamps recently.
But it's not just lamps - there is also plenty of other chintz. Tacky tinsel on tractors, flashing plastic statues by the score, and cows decorated with finger paint, fairy lights, and necklaces. No one escapes.
Oh and fireworks; lots and lots of fireworks!
In fact we can confirm that reports of a 'firework smog' should not just restricted to Delhi (a BBC has an interesting article on this) but also Jaipur. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46138064
For Diwali Hindus light up their homes and shops, to welcome the goddess Lakshmi, to give them good luck for the year ahead. A few days before Ravtegh, which is the day before Diwali, houses, buildings, shops and temples are thoroughly cleaned, whitewashed and decorated with pictures, toys and flowers. On the day of Diwali, people put on their best clothes and exchange greetings, gifts and sweets with their friends and family. At night, buildings are illuminated with earthen lamps, candle-sticks and electric bulbs. Sweets and toy shops are decorated to attract the passers-by. The bazaars and-streets are overcrowded. People buy sweets for their own families and also send them as presents to their friends and relatives. At night, the goddess Lakshmi, is worshiped in the form of earthen images. Hindus believe that on this day, Lakshmi enters only the houses which are neat and tidy. People offer prayers for their own health, wealth and prosperity. They leave the light on in buildings believing that Lakshmi will find no difficulty in finding her way in.
Some of the decorations are pretty gaudy though. What with the cheap plastic icons, the flashing LED lights, and dangerous firecrackers flying off in all directions - well, I’m not 100% sure if Lakshmi would exactly approve!
Things sure step-up a bit after sundown. We sat on a rooftop bar overlooking the city around 8pm and the whole building shook.
With the number of fireworks going off and firecrackers in the street below, you would think it was either the start of World War Three, or the fabric of reality was being torn asunder and Beelzebub and all his minions were spewing forth from Hell with the stench of sulphur, the heat of brimstone, and fury of ages to light up the sky with fire and thunder. Yes, it was that loud.
We loved it though. Firework smog and all.