Diwali, Festival of Lights
Diwali is India's biggest and most significant festival. Celebrating Diwali sees the whole country glowing under the light of lamps, candles, and fireworks. These Diwali photos show the heartwarming beauty of the occasion.
Making Diyas for Diwali
Traditional potters are very busy making clay diyas in the lead-up to Diwali. One of the places where this is carried out is Kumbharwada in Mumbai's renowned Dharavi slum. Around 2,500 potter families belong to the community there. Work begins after the Holi festival, and continues intensively day and night in the lead-up to Diwali.
Husbands, fathers and brothers knead the clay and mold them into diyas, then bake them in kilns. Wives, mothers and sisters take over after that, painting them and packing them for sale. Children also help out with the painting and packing.
Painting Diyas for Diwali
After the clay diyas are dry, they're beautifully hand-painted.
Shopping for Diwali Decorations
Decorating the home is an important part of the Diwali festival, and markets are filled with colorful items to place over the entrance.
Making Rangoli for Diwali
Intricate rangoli is the focal point of decorations at the entrances to people's homes during Diwali. It's made using colored powder, held between the thumb and index finger. However, the application of it isn't as easy as it looks! If you find a design that you like, it's best to sketch it with chalk on the floor first. Birds, such as peacocks, and flowers are popular. Here are some ideas, as well as an overview of the application technique. Sometimes, people even use flower petals instead of colored powder.
Decorated Entrance for Diwali
People decorate the entrance to their houses to welcome and encourage Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, to enter.
Lakshmi Puja During Diwali
The Goddess Lakshmi is believed to have been created from the churning of the ocean on the main Diwali day. A special puja is performed to worship her on this day.
Diwali Flower Seller
Marigold flowers are an important part of Diwali. These auspicious and sacred flowers feature prominently in decorations and worship, and you'll find them for sale all over India before the festival.
Kali Puja in Kolkata
Kali Puja is celebrated during Diwali in Kolkata (as well as other parts of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Assam). It usually takes place on the same day as Lakshmi Puja all over India. This festival honors fearsome Goddess Kali, the dark mother. Here, an artisan is crafting a statue of the Goddess for the festival.
It's customary to share sweets (and gifts) at Diwali.
Diwali Lanterns for Sale
Shops selling an assortment of Diwali lanterns, known as aakash kandils, are common at Diwali time.
Diwali Fireworks for Sale
Fireworks are an integral part of Diwali celebrations and markets are filled with them.
Fireworks and crackers are a huge part of Diwali celebrations. But be careful, as they're often let off in the street close to people! These fireworks happening along Marine Drive in Mumbai.
Diwali Fire Dance
During Diwali the traditional Chari folk dance is performed by women. This involves women carrying flaming pots on their heads while gracefully dancing. It requires a lot of skill! The dance is particularly popular in the Gujjar and Saini communities of the Kishangarh and Ajmer regions in Rajasthan.
Diwali in Goa
Kids especially will love Diwali in Goa! The main celebration for Diwali is centered around the destruction of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Every village and city holds competitions to see who can build the biggest and scariest effigy of the demon. They're burned on Diwali eve.