Our Diwali 2015 Sparkle 9

Driving around Nagpur during a Diwali night is an almost magical experience. Pavements are decorated with beautiful multi coloured mandalas (rangoli) whilst shops, homes and temples are lit up with the tiny flames of a thousand clay oil lamps (diya) as the sky bursts open with sparkles and shimmers. Stalls line the streets with small clay statues of Goddess Lakshmi, coloured powers and fireworks for saleDiwali is the festival of lights and it is definitely a festival of many lights, your eyes cannot escape the warm and inviting glow of fairy lights and lanterns.

Diva lamp light Diwali

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains, and depending on where you are in India, Diwali traditions differ. Nagpur is the centre point of India and we have many communities living here from across India. We were lucky enough to attend a beautiful, loud and vibrant Bengali Diwali celebration honouring the Goddess Kali (Goddess of revolution and power) before attending a Maharashtrian ceremony (pooja) for Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of prosperity and wealth) with our family.

Kali Puja Aarti

Bengali celebrations we attended honouring Goddess Kali

Lakshmi Puja Diwali

Goddess Lakshmi ceremony in our family home

The soothing mantras of the Goddess Lakshmi pooja were punctuated by the blasts and crackles of the fireworks starting outside. Once the priest left, we went to the roof to watch the neighbour’s children enjoy sparklers and fountains, and watched the nights sky come to life until I had a headache.

Diwali Fountain

fairy lights diwali decorations

Alfonso was very brave during the celebrations, hiding in the pleats of my saree, but he wasn’t impressed that he couldn’t wander on the terrace (one of his favourite pastimes). Alfonso is pretty fearless because he knows he is safe, but I really felt for the cows and dogs who live outside. It must be a terrifying and confusing time for them all. Fireworks look gorgeous but sadly the noise and air pollution is painful. 

Saree Pug Hugs

I hope next year’s celebrations are as bright and beautiful but much quieter. I think everyone should experience Diwali in India at least once in their lives (yes, this is a hint to all of my lovely friends and family, Diwali celebrations will start on the 30th of October next year, I’m giving you plenty of notice).



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About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.

9 thoughts on “Our Diwali 2015 Sparkle

  • friend


    The bengalis celebrate lakshmi pooja a few days after dussera. On the day of diwali it is Kali Pooja. The diwali night is the “Amavassa(moonless night). During this dark night it is believed that evil forces are more active and, therefore, goddess Kali is evoked to protect her devotees.

    What is most interesting that the Kali pooja starts at night and continues till the early hours of the next morning. It is also the only pooja where non vegetarian items like fish and mutton are served in prasad.

    Most of the celebrations of Diwali whether north, south or east involve lighting of diyas, rangolis and worship of the feminine deities. It is as if we are moving towards the same destination from different directions.

    I was in Shiridi in the Sai Baba temple during diwali last year. It was wonderful to see tradional rangoli and dyas there. It is a small town and so their diwali is more traditional.

    BRW you were writing about the visit to kali temple.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Friend,
      Yes, we didn’t stick around for the food (well, we are veg lol) but I did get a large pot of sindoor which was brought from Kolkata for prasad. My in-laws recently went to Shirdi to see the Sai Baba mandir, my MIL said it was super busy!

      We also, which I forgot to mention, visited both MIL’s and FIL’s villages the day after Lakshmi Pooja and the lamps there were fantastic!

      Take care 😀

      • friend

        I mentioned it because goddess kali is the only diety in Hinduism who is offered non vegetarian food as prasad. Why don’t you guys go to Shirdi and the numerous temples around it?? That place is full of ancient temples. Quiet a nice way to spend a weekend.

        Moreover, you should explore India a bit more. Rajasthan, Kolkata, Kerala, the north east of India. There are wonderful places to explore. Go the Vaishno Devi Shrine and seek the blessings of the goddess. One of the most unique places is Lakadh. There is a bit of oxygen problem there but since you guys are young you can manage. The Pondong Lake is beautiful and scerene.

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Yess, I have heard there is a temple in Ujjain that gives non-veg and wine as prasad, was interesting to me because they give wine as “prasad” in Church (symbolic of the blood of Christ).

          Yes, we would love to travel more but currently unable to because of my husband’s work schedule.

  • vkjoshi

    In our family, Diwali puja was done by my mother and now after her by my wife from the Diwali Puja book. For Diwali, we used to come from Haridwar to my parents home in Dehradun. Panditji was by invited by my mother for performing some special pujas, like Satnaranyan Puja ,( esp. for special invocations or blessings for children or after wedding ), or he was invited for one or two days for Navratri, not for Diwali. (Nowadays, it is difficult to get learned panditji for conducting puja, or if available many charge exorbitant fees.) In our community two are available, one is a retired panditji from the army (honorary captain) formerly conducting rituals for the army and the other is a younger person trained in Hindu practices from BHU.

    The eldest lady kept fast during Diwali, as per my mother, for others it was optional. My MIL says that in her family, panditji used to come for conducting diwali puja. I remember in our younger days, ceremonial dice playing or card playing at night after the puja was considered propitious amongst family members.

  • Shridhan Patil (@shridhan86)

    Ok. I was expecting description of some things particular of Diwali. ‘Abhyang snaan’ i.e. Bath before sunrise and use of utane (Ubtan in Hindi) and oils prior to that. All this in dawn while firecrackers burst by his/her relative (usually kids), each time someone bathes. And after the bath the person is applied ‘Tilak’ on forehead and lamps circled around him – a sort of small pooja. This is done by mothers, aunts, sisters .
    This is unique thing to do in Diwali. Particulaly in Maharashtra ( i am unaware of elsewhere).

    Second thing is the ‘faraal’, the snacks, savoury items made at home. Nowadays they are purchased directly from outside. Friends and relatives visiting will share these. That food is specific for Diwali. Did you experience all this or not?

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