In South India, Diwali is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna defeated the legendary demon king Narakasura. We celebrate the victory and the death of Narakasura with an abundance of colourful fireworks that light up the night sky. It is a day to meet and greet all your loved ones, and share the happiness (and your sweets). People make beautiful, colourful kolams (rangolis) to decorate in front of their homes.
And, along with three days of eating heavy sweets, comes the famous traditional antidote 'deepavali marundhu'. Deepavali marundhu is a type of homemade medicine to avoid falling sick from all the heavy meals and sweets that we consume on these days. It is typically homemade with spices and herbs that help offset these heavy meals, but these days you get them ready made in shops too! There is no escaping taking this, and it's for our own good!
In our school, the day after the Deepavali holidays, we were allowed to wear our new Deepavali dresses to school. We always kept our most favourite and best outfit to wear to school, and the day when school reopned, there used to be a vibrant dash of colours and traditional outfits across all classes. Even the teachers could be seen flaunting their new silken sarees of all hues! I miss going to school flaunting my fancy new clothes, waiting for the compliments, and complimenting others! It used to be such a very special and happy day for all of us!
And even today, this Deepavali does lighten up our darkened times, and brings a dash of joy in the time of worry! A very happy Deepavali to all of you!