The crackers had started one week ago, announcing the arrival of Diwali (Deepavali – the Row of Lights), the Festival of Lights. The three nights of this long weekend, the noise of crackers and squealing children holding patakas would fill the air.

(And of course, lots of waste to clear in the following days, the remnants of the dhamaka!)

Some of the legends of Diwali can be found at this site. Copying a couple of them here (the most popular):

Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival.

The Victory of Rama: According to the epic ‘Ramayana’, it was the new moon day of Kartik when Lord Ram, Ma Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before.

Winter’s on its way! For this part of the world, Diwali announces the arrival of Winter. The temperature dips significantly in the days following Diwali. So this long weekend can be used to pull out blankets and sweaters and air them for use.

Diwali goes Global: Saw this news regarding US President Barack Obama celebrating Diwali at the White House.

By the way: The Book Giveaway Contest will close tomorrow, do post your thoughts, I will announce the winner(s) on Monday!