India celebrates Diwali with lights and crackers
New Delhi: Diwali was on Tuesday celebrated with joy and gaiety across India as millions lit candles and `diyas`, exploded crackers and shared sweets and gifts with friends and neighbours.
By late evening, hundreds of thousands of traditional earthen lamps and electric festoon lights brightened homes, shops and work places in what is undoubtedly India`s most celebrated festival.
The picture was the same in city after city, town after town, correspondents reported.
The festival of lights marks the triumph of good over evil, and is widely believed to mark the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after vanquishing the demon king Ravana.
The first report of Diwali celebrations came from Tamil Nadu where, in keeping with tradition, people exploded firecrackers just before dawn and, after a traditional oil bath, offered prayers and burst more crackers.
Across the country, people prayed to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi at home and in temples.
Diwali prayers were also offered in innumerable offices and business establishments.
"We visited the temple in the morning and then the market to buy lots of crackers," said an excited Karan Gupta, a 14-year-old from Vasant Kunj in South Delhi.
Almost everywhere, there was plenty of last minute shopping -- for gifts, plenty of sweets and dry fruits, and other goodies ranging from Hindu idols to precious jewellery.
With traditional greeting cards losing out to e-cards and SMS greetings, mobile telephone companies made a huge kill.
"I made a rangoli with coloured stones, flowers and candles depicting Ganesha," said Bipin Sharma, a 34-year-old in Lucknow.
Many opted for exquisite rangolis outside their houses, decking them up with floral garlands.
Satish Reddy, a software engineer in Hyderabad, said: "We prepare special sweets like `payasam`. Our non-Hindu friends visit to celebrate with us in the evenings."
Diwali festival every year sees mass migration of working people from major urban centres to their hometowns and villages.
"I am celebrating with my parents in Gujarat," said Arpana Singh, a journalist based in Mumbai. "In the process, I am giving rest to my mother from kitchen chores too."
In Delhi, which sees a high number of fire accidents every Diwali, police said they were on high alert.
Also on Diwali, which falls on Amavasya (no moon day), people offer prayers to the departed.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- One year of Modi govt: PM Modi addresses mega rally in Mathura Part-II
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- China doesn't recognise 'illegal' McMahon Line: Beijing responds to NSA Ajit Doval
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- CBSE Class X Board Results 2015 to declared tomorrow
- Salman Khan's `Bajrangi Bhaijaan` teaser to be out in two days?