DIWALI IS CELEBRATED BY RESIDENTS ALL OVER INDIA WITH PARTIES AND GLITTERING LIGHTS Expand this picture Author: Rajesh Kumar Singh
switch to caption Author: Rajesh Kumar Singh Author: Rajesh Kumar Singh NEARBY — In celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali, which represents the triumph of light over darkness, Indians lit up their houses and streets with brilliant earthen oil lamps and dazzling, colorful lights on Monday.
India observes Diwali as a national holiday, and people often get together and exchange gifts with family and friends to mark the occasion. As part of the festivities, many people burn candles or earthen oil lamps, and fireworks are also released. The Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who is credited with bringing luck and prosperity, is honored with a special prayer in the evening.
Cities and towns all around the country were decorated with festive lights in advance of the festivities. Millions of Indians descended upon congested bazaars to shop, reviving the holiday spirit that had been subdued for the previous two years due to coronavirus restrictions. Flowers, lanterns, and candles were being purchased at a frantic pace in the marketplaces in order to decorate homes and businesses.
At Ram ki Paidi, on the banks of the Saryu River in the northern city of Ayodhya in the Uttar Pradesh state, nearly 1.5 million clay lamps were lit as dusk fell on Sunday, maintaining the Guinness World Record it established last year.
Nitish Kumar, a senior government official, reported that around 22,000 volunteers, the bulk of whom were college students, saw to it that the lamps burnt for the required amount of time in order to surpass the previous record of 900,000 oil lamps.
Hindus hold that Lord Ram, a god who spent 14 years in exile, was born in the city of Ayodhya. People ignite clay lamps to mark his return.
Prior to the celebration, the holy city was decorated with fairy lights, and its streets and riverbanks were lighted by a laser and fireworks display. Numerous citizens throughout the city ignited lamps at their residences and shrines.
PM Narendra Modi also attended the breathtaking event on the banks of the Saryu River. Modi lit an earthen candle and performed “aarti,” a traditional Hindu rite that entails waving lit lamps in front of an idol, amid chants of Hindu religious hymns.
Expand this picture Author: Rajesh Kumar Singh
switch to caption Author: Rajesh Kumar Singh Author: Rajesh Kumar Singh Earlier, at Ayodhya, where the Babri mosque from the 16th century formerly stood, Modi performed prayers at the long-awaited Ram temple.
In December 1992, a Hindu mob used pickaxes and crowbars to destroy the Babri Masjid mosque, which sparked a large-scale Hindu-Muslim riot that left almost 2,000 people dead, the majority of them Muslims. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2019, the demolished mosque could be replaced with a temple.
Since laying the temple’s foundation in 2020 to begin building, Modi has made two trips there. In a long-running controversy, Modi and his party had long promised to erect a Ram temple where the Mughal-era mosque had once stood.
During his speech there, Modi remarked that “Lord Ram’s ideas are a beacon of light for anyone dreaming for a developed India in the next 25 years.”
In recent years, festivities of Diwali have been laced with concerns over air pollution, which normally blankets northern India in a poisonous gray fog as winter approaches and temperatures drop.
When winter first arrives, traffic emissions and the burning of crop residue to clear fields are the main causes of pollution in northern India. However, during Diwali night, people also light up the sky with fireworks, and the smoke from those fireworks generates haze that can occasionally take days to clear.
In order to reduce pollution, certain Indian states, including the nation’s capital New Delhi, have outlawed the selling of fireworks and placed other restrictions. Residents have also been urged by authorities to use “green crackers,” which produce fewer pollution than regular firecrackers. In the past, though, similar prohibitions have frequently been broken.