Happy Diwali from New Delhi

I know I'm late as always but have you heard of Diwali? It's one of the most important festivals in Hinduism which lasts for five days. It's the festival of lights which symbolises the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance".The festival is widely associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity, but regional traditions connect it to Rama, Vishnu, Krishna, Durga, or Kali as well.

In the lead-up to Diwali, celebrants will prepare themselves by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces. During the climax, celebrators will put on their finest clothes, illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with diyas (oil lamps or candles), offer puja (worship) to Lakshmi, light fireworks, and partake in family feasts, where mithai (sweets) and gifts are shared.

Unintentionionally, I arrived during the most important day of this fiest in the capital of India, New Delhi. So after a whole night in the plane I was ready for celebration with a jetlag. I was a bit surprised that it actually looked like a casual day except from all the sweets everywhere. By coincidence, I met two guys, Jef and Sebastiaan -also from Antwerp here in Belgium, lol- who accompanied me through the fiest. It was quite a funny meeting since it was their last day of backpacking through India while for me it was the very start of a long adventure.

Once it got dark we went out to look where the celebrations were going on. The streets of Paharganj were full of lifghs and at CP, connaught place, every night there was a concert going on. This day it was even more special because everyone was lighting their hot air balloons up into the sky. This balloons that we all know are actually used as a ritual of warding away bad energy and to begin a new (enlightened) path to righteousness. I simply felt blessed and grateful for arriving during such strong symbolic days.

I got even more excited when I found a hot air balloon on which was written "Free Kashmir". The dynamics in India are endlessly crazy and beautiful, but I will talk about that more in another post.

Happy Diwali

Luka

27.10.2019 - New Delhi

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