Thursday, November 04, 2010

Diwali in Kolkata

Well, as you all probably know tomorrow is Diwali. Diwali is (in simple terms, as there is really no way to summarize it easily) the festival of lights. This holiday is accompanied by lots of small lamps and lights (imagine Christmas lights, and chinese lantern lights!) all over the city.

Along with this there are fireworks going off all over the city!!

This is a small firework shop near my home. This is insane! In the US one usually buys fireworks from Wal-Mart or Target, or any other department store (unless you live by a place where you can get the illegal ones! ;-)....)

Imagine rows upon rows, stalls upon stalls, selling small little lamps filled with wax up and down each street!! There are some that are plain red clay and others more ornate!!

And this my dear readers, is the thing I hate the **MOST** the crowds!!! DH sent me this photo because he knew I was planning to post about this. The reason why there are so many people out, is because it is considered auspicious to purchase new items, so that is why many people, like Sharell at Diary of a White Indian Housewife, paint their houses and buy new appliances.

DH told me the guy in the yellow plaid shirt, was going around the store shouting, "Oven, toaster, griller going for 3,900 rupees. Get it now or it will all be gone in the next 15 minutes. Only a few left!" *sigh* So glad I don't get into this shopping frenzy!!

So, tomorrow, you will find me sitting in my house, watching Dancing with the Stars on youtube, or something, because I ain't going out with the crowds!!!

Happy Diwali! :-)


  1. Oh my gosh. I just posted about how Diwali is both beautiful but overwhelming to me. I don't like the firecrackers very much and the crowds are also overwhelming. I love the diye, though! :-) Love seeing the pictures you've taken.

  2. @Aman,

    Last year I don't remember it being so noisy! This year it was awful!! At around 12am (or maybe later...) the chanting started, and when I was still awake at 230am some people were walking around drumming!! Then shortly after crackers were going off!! Talk about nuts! =)

  3. I don't mind the crowd or shopping as much as I HATE firecrackers that do nothing but KABOOM, they make me jumpy and irratable, and my dog doesn't like them either :-)

  4. Happy Diwali to you too! The shopping spree for Diwali in India has always reminded me of Black Friday here in the states.

  5. while Diwali is celebrated in rest of india, Kali the goddess of darkness is worshiped during this time in Bengal.

    Her worship starts at midnight on a moonless night. You are spot on about those 'nutty' timings, even our whole family was kept awake until 3 AM by all that noise.

    We try best avoiding those crowds and jostle during the pujas. Sometimes we need to go meet our friends and relatives at dumdum or saltlake area during day. The traffic snarls are endless at night. Hope you were able to enjoy diwali and durga pujo and see some of the beautiful colorful pandals during daytime.

  6. @Cyn,

    I am not a big crowd person (unless its something I'm dying to go to, like a concert or something...) so...I usually stay home during the Puja's and Diwali!


    I never thought of it that way, but yes, the Puja's remind me of Christmas with the amount of shopping that is done!


    I wasn't sure how to explain Diwali, so thanks! That's why I posted a link for my family and friends who aren't here in India.

    DH and I also try to avoid the crowds during the puja's often staying inside or going out during the day. Although, we try not to eat outside during the holidays because it seems the food is not always up to par.

    I went out on the Saturday night during the Puja's, and went to ** pandal before the crowd and heat got to me, and I told DH and friend, no more!! :-)