Yesterday was the south Indian festival of Deepavali; today is the north Indian festival of Divali -- but it's all one: lights, fireworks, giving boxes of sweets and nuts, wearing new clothes, visits with friends and family. We don't really celebrate any festival, but we still wrap up a few boxes of nuts (called 'dry fruit' here) and other nice things to give; and receive a few boxes of sweets and other nice things. I lit one big candle, instead of setting out hundreds of tiny oil lamps.
The fireworks yesterday were properly deafening (though some dastardly person began at 5:45 in the morning, for which I curse him as noisily as possible). I expect they will be deafening again tonight. You can buy firecracker chains of 10,000 crackers -- you unroll them down the length of the street, and they seem to go on exploding forever. I have been told that chains of 100,000 crackers are available too, but fortunately we've missed out on them so far. Big bangs and flowers of light rise above the popping crackers.
I just ate TWO sweets (Mysore paak, a weakness of mine), and am feeling slightly sugar-sick, with an aftertaste of roasted gram flour and ghee.
So, Happy Deepavali / Divali! On to the next station in the festival season, which will only end with Pongal in mid-January.