Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Diwali is really only a one-day holiday, but really the celebrations get spread out over the week. My host family and I visited local markets several times, buying sweets and decorations.
The Durgapur Club (not the Rotary Club of Durgapur - I made that mistake, to my host dad's embarrassment) threw a big party on Halloween. However, my host sister and I weren't feeling that well (we ate some weird street food earlier) so we left pretty quickly after the initial firework display, leaving the adults to their Bingo.

they set something on the diving board on fire.

Indian Bingo
Since it was Halloween, my host sister and I watched a horror movie. (For shame, Jensen Ackles. No one should look that pretty while having a psychotic breakdown covered in blood.)
On Diwali itself, we spent a lot of time decoration the house. It's traditional to have 100 dias (small oil lamps) spread out all over your house and yard, and unsurprisingly it takes time to set all of those up.


Normally, the house has a lot more outdoor lights, but the day before Diwali the people that came to set them up noticed that most of the lights were burnt out, so we had to make due.
That's more what our lights were supposed
to look like.

The best part of Diwali: setting off our own fireworks!


Happy (late) Diwali!



  1. So.... what is Diwali about anyway? Why all the lights? (Also: Alison astutely observed it's like Christmas mixed with the Fourth of July.)

  2. Thanks, Megan. The conclusion of Passage to India has a description of Diwali, but your photos are much more vivid -- and contemporary. Thanks for letting me join (vicariously ) the celebration. Diwali ki Shubhkamnayein (दिवाली की शुभकामनाएं)

  3. Very cool photos! But I ditto what Melissa asked: how did your Indian hosts explain the significance of Diwali to you?

  4. I agree with Alison--it's like Christmas mixed with Fourth of July. It's interesting that we also spend hours and hours of decorating and cooking for just a one day celebration. Grandma M.

  5. It's nice to know other people in other countries know the frustration of Christmas (or Diwali) lights going out all the time. :)