Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Salon: Post Diwali

The Sunday Salon.com

As mentioned in my last Sunday Salon post, Diwali was yesterday. I had a very hectic week prior to that. Buying stuff, cleaning and decorating our home and of course, gift giving/sharing.

Diwali, is the most important Hindu festival celebrated all over India, now by everyone irrespective of religion and ethnic origins. Diwali literally means "rows of lighted lamps" and hence is also referred to as the Festival of Lights. In a way, it is celebrated to mark many important events for Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. It cuts across the differences and everyone embraces it wholly in that spirit.

In many parts of India, Diwali is considered the harbinger of wealth and prosperity. The Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi is worshipped just before the earthern lamps are lighted. Crackers to are burst with lots of lights and sounds.

How do I celebrate it? I clean and decorate the house. I also prepare a lot of sweets..homemade sweets, essential for the Puja. I invite my brothers and their families for lunch and for the past several years, it has been a family tradition for all of us to be together on this day. We exchange gifts (well, I take the pains to buy the right stuff for them, they mostly dole out cash to me!). Then in the evening we do a Puja, light the earthern lamps, candles, along with the more modern lights (bulbs etc). I have stopped bursting crackers for a long time now.

Prior to the day before Diwali, we meet with friends, to wish and exchange gifts. Many also buy jewellery. I used to but not any more as I hardly ever wear anything other than finger rings. Frankly for the last five years, I have been buying books rather than clothes, jewellery or any such stuff.

Today, it is Govardhan Puja, which can be considered as worship of the Earth and Nature. Tomorrow, it is going to be Bhai Dooj. On this day, sisters pray for the long life of their brothers and brothers too pledge to protect their sisters. Sisters prepare elaborate meals for their brothers and brothers bless their sisters. Nowadays, gift giving has taken over but we still do it traditionally. I seldom accept gift for Bhai Dooj. (Gifts for Diwali, and my Birthday, I don't refuse!)

In midst of all this madness, when do I get time to read? Although I did manage to finish one book, Yes, My Darling Daughter and wrote lots of poetry. I hope to read a lot next week and also plan books for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.

For today, more get togethers with friends is lined up! How about you? What are your plans for today?

21 comments:

BooksPlease said...

It looks like you've had a very happy and enjoyable, if busy week!

My plans for today are much less exciting - reading, writing and mainly sorting out what stuff to get rid of in preparation for moving house at the end of November.

Shanra said...

I have comment-fail right now and can only think of starting this comment with the exact same words 'BooksPlease' starts hers, so... Forgive me if I launch straight into the rest rather than repeat her first line?

It sounds like a beautiful feast - if, yes, busy - and I'm glad to hear you had such a lovely time! (And it sounds like there's still some more good times to be had!)

We don't really have feasts like that over here, I don't think. Sure, there's Christmas, but I'm not entirely convinced it still counts. (There's also Sinterklaas, but that's a kids' feast and wholly different in feel from what I get from your post.)

My plans for today aren't terribly exciting (or, I suppose, interesting). I'm planning on finishing the book I started, maybe watch a few TV episodes of Stargate: Atlantis, write a bit and, uhm, that's about all I've got planned. Not terribly interesting. ^-~ Enjoy the day!

Kristen M. said...

Thank you for sharing about Diwali! I have a friend who is in India right now, visiting her husband's family and experiencing all of this for the first time. She seems to be enjoying herself!

It's okay to skip reading to spend time with family but I know you will love to get back to your books too!

Erotic Horizon said...

It sound like you had the spirit of the event just right - with family and friends right by your side...

It sounds wonderful....

I am sure the celebration made up for not getting as much reading done as you would have liked...

Here's Mine

http://erotichorizon.blogspot.com/2009/10/sunday-salon-my-first-outing.html

E.H>

Nan said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful celebration. Thanks so much for sharing all about Diwali.

Have a good week!

Book Bird Dog said...

What a nice celebration to have! Lots of bright candles and good company.

Diane said...

I just read another interesting post on Diwali. It sounds so special. You've been busy; enjoy your weeks.

debnance said...

Hope to see you at Readathon!

if said...

congratulations for that beautiful event!

Sandy Nawrot said...

All of that sounds facinating! If it is anything like Christmas around here, I know its insane with the decorating and cooking and shopping and whatnot. And being with friends is good for the soul. I'm amazed you read even one book. Have a great week!

ds said...

Thank you for sharing your celebration of Diwali, a festival that I knew nothing about. It sounds like a huge amount of preparation for a lot of fun that passes far too quickly (rather, as Sandy has pointed out, like Christmas here). The memories live on, and that is everything.

Louise said...

How very interesting. I thought I recognized Diwali, and then I realized it was a Facebook Status from a friend yesterday who is right now on vacation in India who wrote it. So very nice to know more. It sounds wonderful and wonderfully exotic in my Northern and Scandinavian ears.

Gavin said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. Diwali sounds like a lovely holiday, getting together with family. I'm glad you will be joining the read-a-thon. It will be my first time reading. Have a good week.

Marie said...

thank you for all this great information! when i was in college they always had a big diwali celebration and one of my friends whose family was from india took a bunch of us from the dorm to sample foods and show us what it was all about. so beautiful! :-)

Literary Feline said...

Thank you for telling us about Diwali, Gautami. It sounds like a wonderful festival. I hope you have a great week!

beastmomma said...

Happy Diwali. Sounds like you celebrated in style. I still need to post about my celebration, but it was fun being a newlywed!

gnoegnoe said...

Very interesting! It sounds like a beautiful fest. Do you also release candle lampions? I love those, I have one left for a special occasion.

carolsnotebook said...

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a wonderful celebration!

stacybuckeye said...

Thanks so much for telling us about Diwali. I knew nothing about it, but now I want to celebrate :)
And books are better that bracelets and rings any day!

Meghan said...

Wow, that sounds like a great week! I got married on Saturday and even though all the fireworks were for Diwali, it was pretty cool to have them going off on our wedding day. Thank you for all the details, they are so interesting!

Serena said...

sounds like a great festival...thanks for sharing the details of your day with us.