Not only was it baby’s first Diwali, it was my mum and youngest sister’s too! I was really excited for my English family to experience the Indian festival of light, but I was equally as nervous about how the noise and smoke pollution would affect my little one. We followed precautions and ended up having a wonderful time.
We started Diwali by making rangoli with marigold petals, flowers and leaves. Everyone pitched in and not only was it fun, it turned out to be really beautiful! I’d never done this before, I have shied away from rangoli as I failed at it miserably last time, but making it with flowers required less expert technique (and therefore less stress). I felt really content whilst doing it, both families together, having fun, whilst baby played. Times like these are what makes festivals special.
I was pleasantly surprised that there were not bombs (sparkleless crackers which just make a horrible sound) lit outside our house during the day, which has always been a huge factor in my previous Diwalis. We do have new neighbours, so it must have been the people who used to live there responsible for that!
I ate so many kaju katli, I must have eaten a silver coin’s worth of silver. Kaju katli are diamond shaped sweets made from cashew nuts, ghee and sugar with a thin layer of edible silver leaf over the top. They are commonly exchanged during Diwali, and they are yum. I can’t get enough of them.
As the sun started to set, we lit our diyas (clay lamps) and placed them on the terrace and balconies. I quickly changed into a saree, and baby into his Diwali suit to match his dad. We then performed a pooja (prayer) to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth.
At around 7,30pm, everyone must have finished their pooja because the fireworks started so it was time for pug and baby to be shut inside the bedroom with their dad, Rohan with his ear defenders on. We kept all the windows and doors closed to keep out the smoke and the two little ones enjoyed some quality time with my husband. The rest of us went on the roof to watch the fireworks.
There were fewer fireworks this year, which is great because of the pollution, but we still managed to stay up on the roof for three and a half hours, staring at the sparkling sky. It seemed quite surreal. Looking up at a sky on a night I used to read about, on a roof in the middle of India with my loved ones, whilst my husband played with our sweet son below. There are fleeting moments in life sometimes where you need to stop for a moment to check everything is real. This was one of them.
Whenever I came down to check if Rohan needed a snack he was smiling from ear defender to ear defender. I’m pretty sure baby enjoyed his first Diwali and my mum and youngest sister enjoyed theirs! Sending love and little twinkling lights to you all!
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