How I celebrate Diwali - RajmiArun

Whenever we think of Diwali, it is always a great fun. Though it is named as festival of lights in general, when it comes to south India, especially in Tamilnadu, it will be a festival of crackers, new movie releases, dresses and sweets.

Diwali preparation starts atleast a month before in our house. Getting new dresses would have been done a long back to avoid the festive rush. Mom will start making sweets and savouries and it is a great experience to peak into the kitchen when it is been made and sneak away some of the savouries made.

When we were in school, our dad used to get a list of crackers from his office, and we all used to sit and discuss what to buy and what not to. Mother is quite ok with harmless fireworks, but brother likes crackers. So we will tick off both in that list, ofcourse we have to ensure that we don't over do the limit. In Tamilnadu, the Diwali is celebrated the previous night and on Diwali day. The previous night is ear marked for fireworks and flower pots, Zamin Chakras are the main attractions. We take turns to fire them up.

The kids in the neighbourhood used to have a competition, as to who will burst the first cracker - which is named as Narakasura Vedi (the one to kill evil Narakasura). Most of the time, it used to be from our house, as dad gets up as early as 3.00 am in the morning.

As it is considered very auspicious to take oil bath well before the sunrise, we all too were woken up by that time. Mom keeps the new dresses and the gingelly oil (heated mildly with one or two pepper corns and beetel leaf. All of us are made to sit in front of the Pooja room and mom keeps oil on our heads and one by one we take bath. Dad will give us our new dresses. By this time, it would be almost 5.30 in the morning and time to go out and burst crackers. After finishing the first round, we will come in for our morning breakfast and most of the Diwali days, it will be a visit to our grand parents house or their visit to our home. All the cousins will be assembled in one place and we used to have great fun.

Though new movies are released on Diwali day, we don't have the habit of watching them the first day, but wait for the reviews and if it is good, we watch them.

Diwali have changed a lot now. All the TV channels have started putting lots of special programs. So people have started watching them a lot. A lot of awareness have also been created on noise and smoke pollution so cracker bursting have also gone down. Still we celebrate Diwali with the same old tradition less crackers and more of fireworks.

I am awaiting this year's Diwali. And have started making plans to make sweets and savouries.

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