Saturday, 11 October 2014

Southern Lights (Deepavali)

 It is the same festival, yet it is celebrated in two  regions  for different reasons. In North India Diwali marks the return of Rama to Ayodhya after serving his fourteen years in exile. Deepavali in Southern India commemorates the killing of the Demon king Narakasura.

The people of Tamil Nadu in South India on the day of the festival wake up well before dawn to take an oil bath.  A ritual that is carried out when the air is pure. It is equivalent to a 'Gangasnan' (having bath or a dip in the holy river Ganges) and is intended to purify inner self. After the bath members wear new traditional  cloths and jewellery and a  bitter concoction called Lehiyam a digestive is taken to take care of rest of the day's overeating. Then people light  the  crackers to symbolise the killing of Narakasura. 

After lighting crackers and performing the puja, a heavy breakfast is organised which should ideally comprise Idli or Dosa. Most of the  people prepare Idlis with other side dishes. Savouries such as Murukku and Athirasam sweet are also prepared as  a must for Deepavali.

The house is decorated with Kolam (Rangoli) designs made of rice powder and Kavi (red oxide) are drawn at the entrance of the house. At some houses  colourful Rangolis are made in frontyards.  In the evening lamps (Diyas) are lit and the house is decorated with colourful lights. The celebration continues up to mid night with cracking of crackers and serving of delicious dinner.

Newly wedded couples celebrate Thalai (first) Deepavali at the bride's home a tradition that is followed for ages. Diwali festivities include fried, high calorie delicacies with liberal use of ghee, dried nuts and fruits as it symbolically marks the beginning of winter. 

Idea for Diwali decor with luxe blooms and brass-ware!!!!!  

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