India celebrates Diwali with full fervour

By Arvind Singh in Jaipur

The South Asian Times  

Jaipur: With the coronavirus situation eased in India with the lowest daily cases reported since February, the festival of lights this year was back in full swing with large crowds thronging markets and fairs in cities across the nation.

The 5-day Diwali celebration saw buildings being illuminated with earthen lamps and colorful lights, people dressed in their best exchanging festival wishes and gifts.

Like previous years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali with armed forces in the Nowshera sector in Jammu and Kashmir. He lauded the army brigade there for the role they played in the surgical strike on September 29, 2016.

Meanwhile, in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama where a grand temple is coming up, a new Guinness Record was created for lighting 9 lakh lamps at Ram ki Paidi on the banks of the Saryu River on November 3.

In New Delhi, the sky hung heavy as its air quality turned closer to the ‘severe’ category as revellers burst firecrackers despite a ban. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal performed Diwali puja along with his cabinet colleagues at Thyagaraj Stadium from a stage modelled on the upcoming Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Across Punjab and Haryana, people thronged temples and gurdwaras to pay their obeisance. Bandi Chhor Divas was celebrated in Punjab, which coincides with Diwali, marking the release of the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, along with 52 kings from the Mughal prison in 1620.

This Diwali marked the beginning of the new Hindu calendar year, Samvat 2078 in India and across the world.  Equity indices started Samvat 2078 on a positive note as both Sensex and Nifty recorded gains across all sectors.

Kali Puja celebration in West Bengal began early in the morning on November 4 and queues at temples got longer as the day progressed. A huge rush of devotees was witnessed at Kalighat temple in Kolkata.

In Goa, giant effigies of demon Narakasur were burnt to mark the Diwali festivities. Youth dressed as Lord Krishna burnt the effigy of Narakasur at many places.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Twitter/NarendraModi)

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