Festivals

Happy Diwali!

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DiwaliThe AIG spent it’s first Diwali on the rooftop oohing and aahing at the incredible fireworks display put on by what seemed to be every person in Delhi. Felt a bit like a surreal tennis match as we looked left, then right, then back again enjoying our panoramic view from atop our home. Reports said that fireworks sales were down this Diwali, the AIG would beg to differ.

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Diwali Eve

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LightsAnxiously awaiting Diwali along with the rest of Delhi, the AIG managed to stop by a local market on the way back from the office and pick up a few holiday items. Apparently we were not the only ones with the idea of doing a bit of last minute shopping as the streets were filled with eager customers picking up flowers, gifts, and sweets.

FlowersLoosely translated to “row of lamps”, Diwali supporters often light small handmade clay pots signifying the triumph of good over evil. In addition to the lamps, homes and store fronts are often meticulously decorated with strings of lights, breathing a festive energy into the streets once the sun begins to set. This time of night is usually when the fireworks make their first appearance. Beware light sleepers, as they have a knack for running into the wee hours of the morning.

Henna

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IMG_1494Diwali, the festival of lights is a five day celebration that totally takes over New Delhi every year. As the festival begins on the 3rd we will take the time to give you a snapshot of the traditions and rituals of this fantastic celebration.

A big part of the celebrations involve looking your best and dressing brightly and traditionally.  It is very common for people to buy new clothes, get a new hairstyle and, for women, decorate their hands with Henna.  Henna body art is a ritual as old as humanity but it is far from old fashioned, designs are constantly changing and there are special Diwali designs which, with only nine days to go will be keeping the artists in the markets busy.  Of course, you have to remember that they take a little while to dry…

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