Despite Supreme Court ban Guwahati celebrates Diwali with great revelry
GUWAHATI: The Supreme Court of India had restricted the timings for bursting of crackers and allowed only green crackers to be burst. The apex court directed that only green firecrackers which are less polluting would be sold in the country but didn’t impose a blanket ban on firecracker sale. It had also fixed 8 pm to 10 pm as the time period for bursting of firecrackers during Diwali on November 7.
While people were afraid that this move would dampen the spirit of the festival, nothing of that sort happened. Guwahatians celebrated the festival of lights with great fervour throughout the five days. Dhanteras, Kali Puja, Diwali, Govardhan Puja and Bhai Duj - each day of the festival was celebrated in grandeur.
Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals in India, but the colourful customs and meanings associated with it can vary. While Hindus celebrate the return of Lord Rama from exile, Jains celebrate the final nirvana of Lord Mahavira and Sikhs celebrate the release of Guru Hargobind from the Gwalior Fort prison. However, some Diwali rituals remain common.
1. Small oil lamps made of clay (diyas) are placed at the thresholds of homes, shops and offices throughout the festival to celebrate the legend of the return of the Hindu god, Lord Rama, to his kingdom after 14 years in exile. According to mythology, his subjects lit diyas on his return.
2. Houses are cleaned ahead of Diwali from top to bottom and lit well to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth.
3. Brightly coloured rangolis are drawn using fingers on the ground at the entrances to homes and offices. The purpose of rangoli is to welcome guests and to encourage Goddess Lakshmi to come inside.
4. Card games are played among family and friends, as it is considered auspicious to gamble during Diwali. Some Hindus also believe that Lakshmi can be invoked through gambling.
This year too, the entire city was glowing with diyas and lights. People cleaned their houses, dressed up in new clothes, did puja at their homes, shops, offices and factories. The city sky as well was glowing on the main day of Diwali with bright coloured firecrackers lighting up the sky.