New Delhi: Diwali 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.
The festival of lights marks the triumph of good over evil, and is widely believed to mark the return of deity 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.
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.IANS