Celebrating Diwali

Diwali is like Christmas. It’s a festival of lights, a celebration of light over darkness, of ushering in the new, and giving gifts to loved ones.  There are many traditions, some vary according to community, but some of them are: new clothes for everyone, new jewelry for women, a new kitchen utensil for the house, closing up the year’s account book and starting a new one, leaving all the lights on, and creating colorful mandalas, decorations and footprints leading up to the front door to let Lakshmi know to visit.

As with all my observances of Hindu festivals I tried to take the meaning and adapt it to my abilities. My overwhelming experience with Hinduism has been that, despite my inaccuracies, my limited abilities to create ‘authentic’ puja, and my straight up ignorance of Sanskrit, whenever I practice, my efforts are repaid in full. There is juice and Presence in this tradition!

After cleaning the house yesterday, I decided that we too would make footprints to decorate the front porch for Lakshmi.

Me and B drawing

Feet! From top left, clockwise: Adam, Niki, B son, A daughter(with help from me and Bennett)

A outside. B also drew a picture of a robot. “Will Lakshmi like it?” he asked.

Ready to welcome abundance and Lakshmi to our house!

Diwali gifts: books for the kids, a new pair of wing earrings for me (already in my ears), and some sushi items for the house/Adam. You can see a candle burning at the family altar behind us.

After a delicious dinner, I uploaded grades while Adam put the kids to bed. Then I went and sat in meditation for a while, performing a simple puja.

The murtis are front and center. On the left are ramekins of honey, cumin and sweets (gummy bears, because the kids won’t eat them). In front of Lakshmi is a lotus plate with turmeric and coins. In the white pitcher is water with rice, a 50 cent piece, and a lily.

EDIT: After much discussion, Adam and I have decided to edit our kids’ names out of this post. I had originally put their names in, but we feel that since they cannot consent to our use of their names, lives, and likenesses that we are just going to use their initials (B and A) until they can understand what the internet means. I question even using their photos, but I use them so rarely and they’re so cute.

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