Diwali 2008

Ghaziabad Travel Blog

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Stringing flowers for the festival!
Diwali is the India version of the American holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, your best birthday ever and the 4th of July. Many of the poorest people use 1/2 of their income for this one holiday. Gifts are given, fireworks are bought and lite and ceremonies begin at sunup and end sometime the next day after the last of the fireworks is done!

I was blessed to spend Diwali with my new friends in Ghaziabad. During the afternoon we ventured into the streets of the marketplace to buy fireworks for the children at the house, as well as bags of puffed rice and sweets to give to the street children in town. The streets were so packed you could barely move. Our driver had us get out as we could walk faster than he could drive. An hour later we met him approximately 50 feet from where we left him!

After market, we prepared everything at the house for the evening.
One of the young girls spent most of the afternoon painting the patio in preparation for the goddess' visit. Flowers were strung and hung around the house, candles prepared for lighting...all the while the family cook was preparing an amazing feast!

We drove to visit their friends/family in town. I found that nothing moves quickly in India. After hugs were exchanged and we insisted we were in a big hurry, we were expected to sit, partake in drinks and food and talk! There is no such thing as stopping by, handing a gift and leaving. It was so fun!

When we got home it was time for the cerimony and prayers. Family gathered around the alter, singing and bell ringing happened, then it was time for fireworks!
Kana says:
Great blog! :)
Posted on: Jan 23, 2009
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Stringing flowers for the festival!
Stringing flowers for the festival!
Young girl painting in prep for Di…
Young girl painting in prep for D…
Footprints for the goddess to foll…
Footprints for the goddess to fol…
Finally done!
Finally done!
Ganesh built directly onto the hou…
Ganesh built directly onto the ho…
Everything is ready for the lighti…
Everything is ready for the light…
Ceremony of lights
Ceremony of lights
We all lit candled throughout the …
We all lit candled throughout the…
Fireworks galore!
Fireworks galore!
Ghaziabad
photo by: paganmom