Carlisle Comments

Diwali Celebrations

 11a DiwaliGroup
 Carlisleans gather to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light. (Courtesy photo)


The Indian community of Carlisle celebrated Diwali on November 4 at a fun-filled event. Diwali—the festival of light—commemorates the triumph of good over evil, and is celebrated throughout India. Traditional Diwali celebrations are spread out over five days, each day signifying important events, culminating with the New Year. Homes are decorated with “diyas” (oil-lamps) and the night skies are lit up with fire-crackers. 

So what is Diwali? The word “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali”, originating from the Sanskrit word Dipavali which can be translated to “Festival of Lights”. Diwali is the name for the festival in North-India. In South-India the festival is called “Deepavali”.

The Diwali event was organized by Sushila Singh and Leenam Dalal. We all enjoyed an Indian food buffet at the Mayuri Indian Cuisine Restaurant in Acton. The organizers did a super job selecting a nearby restaurant, sending out Evites, Updates and even bringing gift boxes of Mithai. Indeed it was an amazing job they did with the time change on the same day!

The ladies were decked in gorgeous “Saris” and “Kurtis”, very graceful and colorful attires. Megha Dalal and Mihir Singh presented stories of Diwali, so very entertaining and illuminating. The challenging trivia-game inspired by the Ramayana and Mahabharata was a fantastic refresher of those timeless epics of morality, ethics, duty and responsibility, embodied in concepts like “karma” and “dharma”, which have now become well-known in the west.

Trivia game questions with answers:

What is Human’s mother’s name?  Anjani 

Which Hindu month is Diwali observed on? Ashwin

What does the Sikh community call Diwali? Bandichhorh diwas 

Who killed Narakasura? Lord Krishna

What type of oil is traditionally used to light lamps? Mustard

In Diwali celebrations what is celebrated on last days? Yama Dwitiya.  Bhaiduj 

In which country is the Festival of Light known as Lin Kriyongh?  Thailand.

For how many days is Diwali  celebrated according to lunar Hindu calendar? Five days

Which country celebrates the lantern Festival of Lights? China

Playing cards during Diwali is part of celebrations in which Indian metropolis? Delhi 

Name the sweet made during Diwali?  Gujia 

Sita’s three sisters and their husbands - name them?

 Urmila married to Lakshman, Mandavi to Bharat, Shrutkirti to Shatrughan. 

Some of the favorite sweets that are made during the Diwali festivities are “Besan Ladoo” and “Gujjia”. 

Besan Ladoo Recipe

Ingredients

• 1 cup besan (chickpea flour) 

• 1 cup granulated white sugar, powdered

• 1/4  teaspoon cardamom powder

• 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)

Method

1. Put 1/3 cup of ghee in a pan and add besan to it.

2. Roast the besan on low-medium flame for 10-12 minutes until it starts giving a sweet aroma. The color of the besan will also change to light golden brown.

3. Once the besan is roasted, switch off the flame and allow it to cool down a bit, around 5-7 minutes.

4. In the meanwhile, using a blender powder the sugar with cardamom powder. Set aside.

5. After 5-7 minutes, the besan would cool down a bit, remember you still want it to be warm but it shouldn’t be hot.

6. Once it’s warm and you can hold the besan mixture in your hands, add the sugar and 2 tbsps. of melted ghee into it and mix.

7. Take a small amount of the mixture in your palm and press with your fingers to make a small round ball.

8. Use the entire mixture to form ladoos while the mixture is still warm.

Thank you

Last but not least we would like to thank all the attendees for making this event a success.    ∆