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Experience Diwali in Dubai

This year Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, falls on Tuesday 13th of November and Hindus all over the world celebrate the triumphant homecoming of Ram, his wife Sita and their brother Laxsman from a gruelling 14 years spent in banishment in the jungle. Story has it that the night the weary travellers were returning was one without any moonlight to show the way, so villagers excited about the homecoming lit small clay earthen ware lamps using oil and wicks to make it easier for the travellers to navigate their way back.

So you’ll see many houses in Dubai lit up with tiny diyas in rows re enacting what the villagers did. Houses are often spring cleaned during this period so that good luck and prosperity can visit in the form of Laxshmi, families share gifts of money and new clothes as well organize huge Diwali feasts where authentic Indian varieties of burfi (sweet fudge made from ingredients such as milk, coconut, almonds, cashewnuts and sugar) and desserts like ras malai (a soft cheese based milk dumpling soaked in cream and pistachios) and laddoos play a starring role.

The Meena Bazaar area of Bur Dubai was in full festive mood as early as last week with many shop fronts festooned with orange marigold flowers garlanding doorways. I explored Madhoors supermarket on Cosmos Lane, a treasure trove of everything you could possibly want for Diwali. From garlands, to intricate Rangoli pattern makers, vibrant rangoli colour for doorways, handpainted clay diyas, shiny brass candle holders and all the paraphernalia linked to traditional worship at home at this time of year.

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