This year we really made an effort to celebrate Diwali.We began the day with Jalebi’s to get our year off to a sweet start. This is a family tradition Ravi grew up with that we continue. Don’t tell anyone that I used a box mix. (I actually bought jalebi yesterday but woke up to find out that they don’t reheat, so I had to pull out the mix and make them properly.)
We next made a rangoli. The girls aren’t old enough, nor am I artistically talented enough, to make one freehand. But I found a kit at the Diwali market by Mustafa. You peel off numbered stickers that correspond to bags of colored gravel. You shake the gravel over the sticker and it….sticks. This is what my floor looked like by the time we were done. The mat caught most of it, but I swept up quite a bit as well.
Here it is assembled by the front door. Hopefully since it is off to the side, it will not get destroyed over the five days of Diwali (I say that like I didn’t learn only this week that Diwali is a five day celebration–we’re not Hindu so I’m learning on the fly for the most part).
Here’s Ellie being silly by one of our Diwali decorations. Traditionally both girls would get new Indian clothes for Diwali, but this year I gave them new t-shirts, as they’ll wear those more. They also each had an outfit that fit already, so we elected not to buy them more clothes at this point.
Here are our lit diyas. Ellie made the one on the left at school while we bought Rhiannon’s at the Diwali market. Rhi kept blowing hers out because her only real experience with candles at this point is from her birthday. So she’d blow it out and say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”
You can check out the full set of Diwali pictures on my flickr account here.
We ended our day with sparklers. Ellie loved it. Rhi liked it, but kept dropping her sparklers in the grass, giving us a heart attack each time.
There is a great article in the New York Times about how Diwali is becoming more widely celebrated in the US. Congratulations to Notabilia, whose wonderful book Mama’s Saris is mentioned in the article.