You know that feeling of joyful expectation just before Christmas? Something like that I’m experiencing at the moment – the grandest Indian festival, Diwali, is just a weak away. I know I have very little to do with it, but when the whole city is GETTING READY, selling lanterns, decorations, fireworks and lights, it’s impossible to stay aside. The other days I went to the mall and found myself wonderfully lost among these stunning boxes of Diwali sweets.
Exchanging Diwali sweets (or mithai) is an important part of the celebration. Traditionally the whole household is expected to prepare them together and afterwards to distribute to relatives, friends, neighbors and everyone who comes to visit. Besides, during the Diwali puja people are supposed to offer these goodies to the goddess Lakshmi, who grants prosperity and good luck. People still make Diwali sweets at home, laddu, jalebi, barfi, peda, gulab jamun are just to name a few, but various manufacturers, including the most popular brands, also offer their special gift boxes.
It’s a very convenient option, especially if you have too many people to wish happy Diwali to. Usually we get both homemade and factory produced sweets from our neighbors, and then return the favor on Christmas, offering them a plum cake and cashew-nut based sweets my mother-in-law makes.
Another thing I like about Diwali are diyas – oil lamps made of clay. Some of them are very intricate and beautifully decorated. But to be honest, even the simplest of them look rather magical on the festival of lights.