Varanasi (UP)/ Ludhiana (Punjab)/ Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Nov 04 :
With the influence of electric series of lights and wax candles dominating the festive market for a couple of years, traditional earthen lamps, or ‘diyas’ are reclaiming their place ahead of Diwali.
Potters are busy preparing diyas and have been preparing for over two months, as Diwali approaches. Earthen lamps made by us are reaching far and wide to Jaunpur and even further, said a local potter from the rural areas of Varanasi. Potters here alone are making more than 1,000 lamps in a day to meet the surge in demand. The demand had been steadily decreasing over the years with the availability of cheap and more colourfully decorative LED lights in the markets.
But this year, people are choosing indigenous earthen lamps over LED lights, owing largely to social media campaigns highlighting the plights of the temporary street vendors. Diwali marks the return of Lord Ram, to his hometown in Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years. According to religious epics, the residents decorated the whole town with diyas and made ‘Rangolis’ (traditional Indian decoration patterns made on ground with coloured powder) to celebrate the return of their beloved king, hence initiating, the festival of lights.
On this day, people illuminate their houses with different types of lights. Fireworks displays and exchange of gifts with friends and family are an integral part of the festival. However, with the Supreme Court restricting the use and sale of firecrackers owing to increase in pollution, the market of crackers is down.