Goodu Deepas, Diyas to Fireworks, Hindus Gearing Up for Diwali

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Goodu Deepas, Diyas to Fireworks, Hindus Gearing Up for Diwali

Mangaluru: Preparations for the three days celebration of Deepavali — Naraka Chaturdasi, Lakshmi Puja and Bali Padyami is already being seen in the City as Hindu devotees are gearing up for the festival buying the things they need -like goodu deepas, diyas, lanterns, decorations, flower hangings, home items, jewellery, sweets, fireworks etc etc. Diwali is perhaps the most well-known of the Hindu festivals. The word Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. Diwali is known as the ‘festival of lights’ because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called diyas. The philosophical aspect of the festival- of moving from darkness to light, ignorance to knowledge and sorrow to bliss- is reflected in the practice of lighting diyas and will be seen till the conclusion of the Karthika month.


Yes, the biggest festival of the year is here. And, people are gearing up to look their best, decorate their homes grandly, most importantly have the brightness of different lights cascading their homes. All this takes considerable trips to shops and markets and that is what everyone is busy doing. While most Mangaloreans have finished buying clothes, jewellery and gifts, many are busy with neck-of-the -moment purchases. Malls are offering special discount sale for Diwali, so also many jewellery shops. For youngsters and children, Diwali shopping is incomplete without firecrackers.

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Diwali is not only a festival of joy and celebration, but also of intense shopping setting in pace loads of shopping activities by men and women alike. From clothes to jewellery, to home appliances and electronic gadgets, to house decorations and fireworks etc etc, Indian people, including Mangaloreans are known to do the maximum Diwali shopping to make the festival truly special for themselves. It is learnt that during this festival, many offices follow the tradition of offering extra money or ‘bonus’ to their employees, thus it prompts people to splurge the money on shopping. More so, people remain in festive and joyous mood as soon as celebrations of Diwali arrive and hence, they end up buying more than what they would do in normal days.

Exchanging gifts with family, acquaintances and friends is a custom which also increases the level of shopping during the festival. If Diwali gifts are given, then they are received as well, thus adding to the level of shopping. Offices, business organizations and employees everywhere offer gifts to their employees on this festival to enhance the goodwill. From crackers to household articles to candles to dry fruit boxes to sweets to chocolates to clothes to mobile, people love to buy many things to make Diwali shopping a joyous and enriching experience for them.

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Once again Chines made products rule during this festival time. On the occasion of Diwali festival, market is full of home decor items. Due to cheaper in rates and attractive in appearance, Chinese products are attracting large number of people pushing the domestic products on to back foot. Notably, as people decorate their houses vigorously on the day of festival of light, different types of home decor items have been lined up in markets to en cash the festive mood of people.

Electrical items like series lamps, festoons, chandeliers, running strip, Vax lamp, Deep Mala, Moti Mala etc are high in demand. China made toys, battery, fancy items, firecrackers, electronics items are very much in demand as these products are selling on half or even less than the domestic products. Appearance wise also these products are giving tough fight to Indian products but in this shoppers melee both local trade and national exchequer are the ultimate sufferers.

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Jewellers too are displaying new ranges of golden, silver and diamond ornaments with a view to woo shoppers once again on the occasion of ‘Dhanteras’. These shops are also offering artistic gold/ silver coins, silverware and golden/diamond fashion accessories with discounts and gift-pack to attract high end buyers. Despite steep increase in price, demand for fireworks has not come down this Diwali in city. With few days to go before Deepavali, you could see large crowds gathered at the fireworks shops on Market Road, Bunder and many other parts of the city.

Traditions might have fallen by the wayside as the years march on. Cleaning handes (large copper/brass vessels) has been replaced by washing bright plastic buckets, deepas have become diyas and “neer tumbho habba” (observed on the eve of Naraka Chaturdashi) is passé. Like other festivals, Deepavali affords one moments to reminisce on the times gone by. My friend’s mother recalls how she was the first among her five siblings to wake up early around 3-4 a.m., take a quick oil bath and light the first cracker. “My sons however, are not as enthusiastic. They crib about having to wake up early on a holiday,” she laughs, and these two sons of hers happen to be my great friends, who have already invited me for a Diwali bash this weekend.

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Despite availability of large array of trendy fireworks imported from China, people were still interested in buying traditional crackers and fireworks manufactured in India. According to one fireworks dealer the prices of fireworks almost doubled due to strict restrictions on explosive chemicals. Firecracker vendors here bemoaned that they had only 65 per cent of the sales so far compared with last year. Diwali is incomplete with fireworks, and with firecrackers priced around 40 per cent higher than last year, the sound and sparkle of Diwali may be missing here this time, both traders and customers fear. The firecrackers have become dearer as the cost of both raw materials and labour have increased drastically, say traders.”Raw materials like aluminum powder, iron, sulphur, gelatin, barium nitrate and potassium nitrate, integral in making and packing firecrackers, have seen a steep rise in price this year. Thus, the prices of firecrackers too have gone up,” said a wholesale firecrackers dealer on Bibi Alabi Rd here.

The prices of some favourite crackers have not increased much this year. Revelers may have to be content with earthen lamps, candles, designer lights and sweets. The high prices are keeping the shoppers away from the markets though only a few days are left for the feast. “The business is not encouraging so far. The enthusiasm of people to buy crackers seems to be missing this Diwali. People these days spend most of their time at Malls, and they don’t show any enthusiasm towards the feast. We will have to wait and see how the last two-three days before Diwali turns out to be. I am hoping for the best” said a small time trader Iqbal near Central Market.

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Firecrackers dealers are hoping the sale will pick up in the coming days.” In the past years, by this time lots of firecrackers used to get sold. How can Diwali be celebrated without crackers? We are hoping that people will come for them in the next few days,” smiled Ramesh, a cracker dealer. Even last year I noticed there was not much fireworks display in the skies, seems like Mangaloreans have taken the high price of firecrackers quite seriously. “This is no time for celebration. How can we waste money on crackers when financial crisis is staring us. Many are in no mood to celebrate. When people are being hit hard by rise in price of daily commodities, spending on crackers is like a luxury and I dare not indulge in burning crackers this Diwali.” said Sushma, a IT employee.

Whether motivated by shopping or piety, generations and communities celebrate Deepavali at their comfort level. Some view the festival as a time to get together with family members for others it is time to head back home for festivities- but the signs that Diwali is heading closer is seen right now in the city with shop-keepers, jewellers, vendors offering various deals on Diwali merchandise from non-food items to food items. Welcome to Deepavali, the festival of lights and sounds, when every shop has a sale, when gold comes in interesting variations, when it is a national holiday and most offices will simply log out. On this national festival, even as the city will come alive promising its world-weary residents varied ways to enjoy their day off, primarily by booking tickets for their favorite movie show, there will be many others celebrating Deepavali the traditional way.

Having all said, Diwali is a festival that is celebrated with a lot of heart and revelry by people across India. Although if one takes a cursory look at this festival, it can easily be categorized as a Hindu festival, but if one looks a little more deeply, one can easily see that celebrations of this festival transcend the boundaries of caste and creed. This festival of lights is celebrated with tremendous zeal and devotion by people of all age groups as well as social and economic standing. The scale of celebrations can vary from downright ostentatiously extravagant to gracefully simple. To mark the occasion, people start cleaning and renovating their houses days, sometimes even a month, before the festival. On the day of Diwali, scores of diyas, candles and multicolored light bulbs illuminate the moonless night, presenting a bedazzling spectacle of color, light, vibrancy and exuberance that enthralls one and all.


Happy Diwali to all our readers well in advance from Team Mangalorean. Have a safe and fun filled Diwali. Get ready for some Dham Dhoom, but be careful with fireworks?

About Diwali :

Diwali festivities are not just confined to one day celebrations, but span over a period of five days that commence as per the auspicious Hindu calendar at the end of the Ashwin month, which usually falls between September and October as per the Georgian calendar, and culminate in beginning of the month of Kartika, which denotes to the time between October and November as per the western date calculation system. The dates are further elucidated as the days in Ashwin fall under the category of the ‘dark fortnight’ known as the Krishna Paksha of that month, whereas the days in the month of Kartik fall under the category of Shukla Paksha, i.e. ‘bright fortnight’. The first day of Diwali festivities is known as Dhanteras, celebrated traditionally as the beginning of the new financial year by most business communities in India. This day is considered very favorable for financial investments and buying gold and silver items. Purchasing household utensils is also a part of the customs and traditions of Dhanteras.


The second day of Diwali festivities is traditionally known as Naraka Chaturdasi, and popularly known as Chhoti Diwali among the masses, especially in Northern India. The day is celebrated to commemorate the occasion of vanquishment of demon, named Narkasura, at the hands of Lord Krishna and his beloved wife Satyabhama. This day seems like a dress rehearsal for the coming festival of Deepavali as on this day too, houses are illuminated and firecrackers are burst but on a much smaller scale. The third day of festivities, which is an Amavasya, is marked by the celebration of Badi Diwali or Deepavali. The day sees the festivities reaching to their zenith, with ostentatious decorations and devotional fervor. On Deepavali, Goddess Laxmi, bestower of wealth and prosperity, is worshipped across India in all Hindu households. It is believed that she visits the homes of her devotees on this day; thus, houses are kept skip and spam.


The fourth day is known as Kartika Shudda Padyami. On this day, the ritual of Govardhan Puja is performed with great devotion, especially in parts of North India. Govardhan is a hillock located in Braj near Mathura and as per legend related to it, it was picked up by Lord Krishna and used as an umbrella in order to protect the villagers from heavy rainfall. Devotees, who can visit this site, perform puja of the original hillock, whereas, those who cannot, make small hillocks of cow dung and worship them. The Diwali revelry comes to an end on the fifth day with the celebration of Bhai Dooj. This festival, like Raksha Bandhan, celebrates the unbreakable bond of love and affection between a brother and sister. The festival of Diwali not just celebrates the victory of good over evil but also teaches us to value our each and every relationship

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