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Diwiali

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One of the (many) highlights of our trip was spending Diwiali with Ryan S.’s family at their house in Ludhiana (LDH) Ryan’s father was gracious enough to open his home to a couple strangers, (over)feed us, tell us all the great places to eat, sent us out and about in his car, and was the definition of a gracious host. We spent our time there, eating, talking and catching up late into the night, eating some more, and celebrating Diwali. For the big night, we had a low key day, touring the town where Ryan S. grew up and seeing the city. Later that night we took a quick drive to see all the houses, building, temples and and other surface draped in lights. Where we might follow the outline of the building in the States, there the lights are draped around all over the houses creating great displays.

The evening begins with the lighting of the candles. Small oil filled bowls were placed at doorways and specific corners of the property and the doors to the home were thrown open, to let good fortune flow into the house.

Then, fireworks. WOW! Fireworks. Forget snaps and crackers, these were professional grade explosions, on every block, at every home. Huge bursts of color, streaming into the air. BOOM! A rocket shoots up, then BAM! it explodes in a burst of sparkling lights. Those were the fun ones. The others, well the others were a different matter. I never saw what they looked like, you just felt and heard them. B-O-O-M!!! these firecrackers of destruction existed for one reason, and one reason only. To make noise. And they did their job. The windows in the house rattled they were so loud. If you set one of these off in DC, police would be called, and the FBI would investigate. And they went on well into about 2AM in the morning.

We visited the fireworks stand ourselves, it was a gathering of sellers in a “U” shape, with a parking lot in the middle. We were the only Gringos that I saw. Alas, thru an unfortunate translation issue, the major firecracker brand was “COCK” brand. I kid you not. There must be so many jokes here, I’ll let you work them out. Despite this we got ourselves some noisemakers for that night. Bottle rockets, roman candles, sparklers about 18” long, and spinners all filled our bag. The highlight was a 10,000 string of crackers, you light one end, and off it goes, 10,000 crackers exploding in sequence. Very, very, cool.

It was a special event, and we were very fortunate to be there and not only see it, but participate in it.

This video is us on the roof, lighting bottle rockets, take note of the sounds and sights in the background:

This video is the grand finale, the 10,00 string of firecrackers:

Some shots from that night:

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