Our family’s favorite season is Fall. It brings cooler temperatures, football season, beautiful color-changing leaves, and the anticipation of Diwali.
Diwali is lovingly called the “festival of lights.” Diwali is a five-day festival with each day bringing a new aspect to the celebrations. It is one of the most important festivals in Indian culture. Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and light over darkness.
Each Fall, we prepare by getting our diyas ready and decorating our homes with lanterns and rangoli. Diyas are small clay pots or trays used to light cotton wicks dipped in oil or ghee. Our daughter looks forward to decorating her new set of diyas every year and adding them to our collection. Traditionally, rangoli is an art form in which patterns are created on the ground both inside and out of the home using colored sand, dyed rice, flower petals, or lentils. For our house, we like using chalk to create a mixture of simple geometric patterns and ornate mandalas. Once the house is cleaned and decorated, we look forward to exchanging gifts, eating decadent Indian sweets, and dressing up in our new clothes for the special days ahead.