Festivals and celebrations, LIFESTYLE

The Dawning of a New Diwali #MondayMusings


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The dawning of a new Diwali

The house is in darkness as is the rest of the city. It is the second day of Diwali but for me and my family it is like any other Monday.

Our weekend was busy with comings and goings : Hubby Dear came back and Ms. Papaya went to Delhi.

I’m already missing her.

The night before she left, she’d slept holding my hand . Yet, when she left without a backward glance,  I was happy that she could move on with confidence. We’re all going to miss her . Especially Wow Dinga and Little Po who still have a week’s holiday.

A transformation

You know Diwali has transformed when

  • When your Rangoli is made by your grandsons  with the main motif  a Transformer
  • When baskets of Fresh Fruit have been replaced by boxes of Dry Fruit
  • When people greet each other with WhatsApp messages rather than Diwali cards
  • When family holiday out of town replace family celebrations at home
  • When fairy lights replace traditional oil lamps
  • When the grandchildren sing ‘Happy Birthday Diwali’

Making new traditions

Diwali is no longer what it used to be . The cold for one has vanished . I remember shivering at dawn. We had to wait our turn to be rubbed down by with scented oil.  And the scented scrub afterwards made me feel fresh and new and festive .

The lady-of-the-house sets the tone for festivities.

However, my mother-in-law isn’t one for tradition. Nor is my husband . They prefer to spend Diwali as a holiday : waking up late and relaxing.   So the ritual bath has never made its presence felt in my home.

Of course we did indulge in eating and feasting, meeting relatives and wishing everyone. But with increasing waistlines and health issues, our traditional sweets went for a toss. And now with all the designer mithai and chocolate taking over , merry making has morphed into something quite different.

So if I wanted to set up a Diwali tradition, I was free to do so.

While the girls were small, I did try to establish our own tradition. We shifted the ritual bath to a more normal time. But once they turned 8, this stopped .

Growing into little ladies, I began a new tradition – making a different Diwali sweet every day for the five days of Diwali. I thought it would be an inclusive and interactive festival where I’d pass on  a tradition of home made sweets to the next generation. However, when studies became paramount , the next generation preferred learning the numbers of ‘vendors’ who could provide Diwali sweets.

New clothes became old hat as the kids got new clothes all year round. Besides, there’s nothing really festive about T shirt and shorts is there ?

Thankfully somethings remain the same !

Image for Happy Diwali

But some traditions don’t change – like de-cluttering before the festival, lighting oil lamps at night time and rangoli. Pride of place of course goes to gift giving and the traditional Lakshmi Puja.

So today on Dhanteras , the second day of Diwali, I will give myself an oil massage. Rub myself with a home made scrub and run down to the market to mark this day  with a purchase ( as is the custom)- not with gold but with a new toaster !

Do you still spend your Diwali the traditional way? I would love to know your Diwali traditions.

Happy Diwali all!

Image of Bellybytes

Linking this with #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne of Everydaygyaan. Image for Mondaymusings

Author: Bellybytes

Proud Mumbai gal who always sees the humour in life. The mum who made banana fritters when all the other mums made cupcakes.

14 Comments on “The Dawning of a New Diwali #MondayMusings

    1. To me the best Diwali gift would be an hour of meaningful interaction . Where the feelings are genuine and the gifts given from the heart.
      To tell you the truth, I prefer a small plate of home made sweets to the designer mithai. Silver and gold are of no earthly use.
      So all I want for Diwali is blessings and good wishes.
      Happy Diwali to you and yours ARV.

  1. With time certain things change. In Kerala, we didn’t celebrate Diwali with so many rituals. To begin with, we celebrated Diwali just the one day. There was no cleaning frenzy either. We didn’t light up lamps. We did burst crackers at my house. My husband’s side of Kerala didn’t even do that. We do all the above mentioned rituals during Onam. 🙂 But now we do light up some lamps and celebrate Diwali in our own way.

  2. So much has changed over the years. Over time, some traditions will give way to others. The sweets are the best part of Diwali, in my opinion. As for me, it’s the second Diwali away from home and so there’s not much to celebrate. Besides, Diwali isn’t that big of a deal in Kerala. Hope you have a great Diwali, dear. ♥️
    P.S: I’m hosting a blog post. Please feel free to hop over and post a link to your best blog post. 😄
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    1. Thanks for your good wishes . I knew that Diwali wasn’t a big deal in Kerala but didn’t know it was such a minor celebration…. today I went looking for some traditional sweets and found they aren’t made any more !

  3. I used to wait for the neighbours to give us sweets for Diwali. Every year at least a dozen thalis of home made sweets covered with crocheted doilies were delivered. Of course we had to return the favour at Christmas time, but that is what community is all about. Today, no one exchanges sweets anymore and I feel as if something is lost forever.

    1. I completely agree with you. All we get now are impersonal corporate gifts wrapped beautifully and given soul lessly. Luckily I still get my Christmas goodies from my friends. Normally I send them some home made sweets but when I found they were given to the servants I stopped sending them

  4. How times have changed! We used to spend diwali lighting lamps and candles all around the house. This has now reduced to lighting only a couple of lamps for the fear of fire hazard. Summers are pretty dry here, don’t want to start a fire 😀
    Handmade sweets have given way to Haldiram k dabba. It’s all about convenience now I believe. But still a joyous festival when family gets together.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Photo Blog: Sunset in SydneyMy Profile

    1. Yes of course it is all about convenience. After all festivals shouldn’t stress you out! And things do change so why not celebrations or rather the way they are celebrated? I too agree about oil lamps. I am scared to even light one in the family prayer room – in case there is a breeze or something and the lamp tilts over….

  5. I marked the day with a new Mixie- hi-five on the appliance buy!! 🙂

    I guess for me Diwali used to be more traditional when I was at the parents place – on my own I do get lazy and aside from the cleaning, putting fresh flowers, making laddoos….. I skip the rest. Oh and I did wear new clothes!!!

    Hope the diwali was blissful and abundant for you Sunita!!

  6. I’m not one for rituals and ceremonies – because my Mom wasn’t either, but I do love reading about other families and their traditions. I hope you had a wonderful Diwali festival, Sunita.

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