In the sacred texts of Ramayana, Ram, the beloved King of Ayodhya, returned to the city with his wife and younger brother after 14 years of vanvaas(exile). The residents of Ayodhya decorated the roads with diyas(lights) and prepared sweets to celebrate the king’s return. This was the first celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali. The festival is celebrated across India as the day that commemorates good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
Growing up, Diwali rituals have always involved cleaning and decorating the house, buying new clothes, and visiting relatives and friends for an evening of celebrations. We all have memories associated with the festival. Today, the diverse team at FlippAR talks about what Diwali means to them and their family.
Abhirup, the Growth Hacker at FlippAR, talks about why he has always been a fan of a quiet Diwali: “For me, Diwali was more of the festival of lights than sound. While I respect the choice of people who enjoy crackers, I have always been sensitive to it because my dog was uncomfortable with the sound. So, as kids, my cousin and I hoarded lots of food and watched movies with our pet.”
For Kunal, a Business Development Executive, the day is full of fun traditions and quality family time: “Diwali happens to be the most important festival at home. Everyone gets involved right from cleaning the entire house, to cooking and having a taash(cards) party. Although we have given up using fireworks, keeping with tradition, we still light a few flowerpots. It’s that one time of the year when everyone is home; my parents, my sister, all our friends, and of course, family.”
Manvi, also a Business Development Executive at FlippAR, on the other hand did not mind the crackers as much, but cherished the lights and the rangoli: “For me, Diwali is the time when bright lights and colourful Rangoli welcomes goodness, joy and prosperity, the time when families reunite and spread happiness and cheer in everyone’s life.”
By the way, did you know that Goa observes Diwali a little differently from the rest of India? We didn’t either, until our iOS Developer, Kedar told us:
“Diwali is a special occasion for me as it gives the opportunity to spend some quality time with your family & friends. In Goa, Diwali starts much earlier compared to other states as here there is a tradition of building a statue of Narakasur for which there are many competitions organised across the state prior to Diwali. People attend these Narakasur competitions in huge numbers keeping the old tradition alive.”
Saman, a Content Intern, recalls how Diwali was one of her favourite festivals growing up in Delhi:
“Everything is so pretty during Diwali. The streets, shops, houses, everything is decked up in lights. We would take sweets and gifts to the houses of our Hindu neighbours, and every house we visited was always so happy, and there was always so many sweets. The city just seemed to be at its happiest.”
One thing which binds all the memories together is the spirit of gifting, feasting and frolic spent with family, relatives and close friends, which is central to the festive celebrations. Beyond being the festival of lights, it is the festival of love and togetherness. FlippAR rejoices in the bright and glorious festival and wishes all its users and readers a happy, prosperous, cracker-free Diwali.