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hub Diwali my Brothers and Sisters, I take immense pleasure to introduce to you this unique and dynamic publication which features the essence of this most wonderful and enthusiastic occasion – Diwali.

Deepavali better known as Diwali is a renowned Hindu celebration having its genesis in India. Today, however, it has spread its wings worldwide and is enjoyed by many, both Hindus and Non-Hindus alike.

We all look forward to wishing the best to our dear friends, families, employees, employers and loved ones and showering them with sweet delights and presents as a token of our appreciation.

In Guyana, we seek to preserve culture through print, hence, the birth of this publication. Even though, many of us possess extensive knowledge about this joyous and spiritual occasion, there are still many others who could be further educated on this vastly celebrated holiday and we hope to fill that gap. Diwali continues to be eagerly anticipated by many in our society and we want everyone to be thoroughly enlightened on all aspects of this celebration.

The team at ClassiMag Publications is most grateful to our gracious sponsors for making this publication a reality and for their support in the perseverance of our Guyanese Culture.

In its evolution, Diwali is no longer considered a strictly Hindu holiday, but has emerged as an integral part of Guyanese culture.


As we celebrate Diwali this year, it is my fervent hope that good will prevail over evil, knowledge over ignorance and love or hatred. May your homes and lives become illuminated with the presence of good fortune, love and happiness this Diwali.


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ClassiMag Publications Suite #6, 230 Aubrey Barker Street, South Ruimveldt Gardens Georgetown

Publisher & Chief Editor Vickram Singh

Assistant Editor Vanie Beepat

Marketing & Sales Vickram Singh Vanie Beepat Allishaw Chan Devi Henry

Contributing Photography New World Photo Studio Amanda Richards

Editorial Reference

Creative Director Vanie Beepat

(592) 650 -7911, 646 -4469 Š All Rights Reserved 2013

On The Cover

This magazine is called Jyoti because it is synonymous with light and knowledge in Hinduism.


Please note, a free copy of this Publication can be picked up at any of the advertisers featured in this edition.

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Diwali The History of

is celebrated with such splendor and glory.

How is Diwali Celebrated? According to an ancient myth, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth travels through all our homes on Diwali night and stops to bless the homes that are shiny and sparkling clean. So as this festival approaches, all houses go through a thorough spring-cleaning in anticipation of her wealth and blessings. She will be greeted by a beautiful gaily painted Rangoli on the threshold of each home while inside too she is welcomed by an array of sparklers and little earthen lamps that light up and considerably brighten the atmosphere.


ne of the most joyful and beautiful festivals to be celebrated on the across the globe is Diwali, the festival of lights. The very word Diwali conjures up the image of winking lights and flickering diyas. Not to forget the gorgeous array of sparkling colours emitted by the firecrackers that seems to awaken the night sky. Diwali generally comes in the months of October or November, on the English calendar. It is one of the most important Indian festivals and is celebrated on a mass scale by Indians not only in India, but also all across the world.

The Story Behind Diwali It is believed that on this day Lord Rama, along with his consort Sita and his loyal brother Lakshman was returning to his hometown Ayodhya after 14 long 6 / Diwali 2013

years of exile in the forest. He had just finished battling and overcoming the fierce King Of Demons, Ravan, who had abducted Sita. In this battle he was ably helped by Lord Hanuman and his army of courageous monkeys. The people of Ayodhya lit lamps in every home to welcome their true King as well as celebrate his victory over Ravan and also the safe return of their Queen Sita. They danced and made merry and lit firecrackers to express their joy over his return. And as a mark of respect and worship the festivities continue every year till this today. As another lesser-known story goes, Lord Krishna had battled a demon called Narakasura and emerged victorious. The people of the city were overjoyed and welcomed Krishna back with lamps in their hands. Since Rama and Krishna are two of the most popular gods in the Hindu legends, it is only logical that Diwali

The actual festivities start from Dhanteras, which is celebrated two days before Diwali. Everybody goes out of their way to make big purchases and buy new clothes and jewellery. This is because this day is considered auspicious for wealth, and it is said that if you buy any silver or gold on this day, you will be lucky throughout the year. The goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day through a Lakshmi puja, which is performed not only in the homes but in shops and offices as well. But what would Diwali be without a burst of firecrackers and lights? The sound and light show starts at least a week prior to the actual festival and continues way into the New Year. Of course it reaches a crescendo on the day of Diwali itself, a day when people dress up in their best new clothes and go visiting each other, their relatives and friends with boxes of dry fruits and sweets and loads of love in their huge generous hearts.

Diwali Five Days of


he first day of Diwali is called Dhantheras. The second day of Diwali is called Narak Chaturdasi. It is the fourteenth lunar day of the dark forth night of the month of Kartikand the eve of Diwali. The third day of Diwali is the actual Diwali. This is the day when worship for Mother Lakshmi is performed. On the fourth day of Diwali, Goverdhan Puja is performed. The fifth day of the Diwali is called Bhratri Dooj. It is a day dedicated to sisters.

In order to please the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi puja is conducted on the third (main) day of the five-day festival, Diwali. On the day, people clean their home and premises, illuminate the place with earthen lamps (diyas) and electric lights. In the evening, they offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and pray for good health and prosperity. During the puja, some like singing bhajans, while others chant mantras. The puja is culminated by aarti, which is accompanied by a song. 8 / Diwali 2013



Through The Changing Years

n the midst of today’s busy and hectic lifestyle, Diwali gives us an opportunity to pause and be grateful for what we have, to make special memories with family and friends, to laugh and enjoy what life offers us. Though the festival of Diwali has undergone some changes in due course of time, it has continued to be celebrated since the time immemorial. Every year, the festive season of Diwali comes back with all the excitement and merriment. With the evolution of our contemporary lifestyle, there have been certain changes in the way people celebrate Diwali, as more and more technology has been included, but the zeal and the spirit of celebration remains the same. Earthen lamps may have been replaced with stunning electric illuminations, dress code may have changed, but the custom and tradition of performing puja has been carried very well through generations as is something every Hindu home eagerly anticipates.

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People wake up at the crack of dawn to conduct the customary pujas and continue with the preparation of sweet delicacies. Dressed in brilliant silks and glittering gold jewelry families gather and light crackers to usher in the great evening. After a session of bursting crackers,it’s time to visit friends and

relatives armed with sweets and savories. Even today, Diwali is such a wonderful festival, a time of giving and sharing, a time to catch up with people. It gives us a chance to catch up with the little joys that we keep overlooking for the remaining part of the year.

Diyas The Significance of


iwali is the festival of lights and sweetness.

It is basically a symbol of the victory of good over evil, brightness over darkness, and truth over falsity. Each and every legend associated with this fabulous festival gives the same message. The thick dark new-moon night on which the Diwali festival is celebrated, seems like a full-moon night, because of the effulgent light of numerous diyas lighted on this night. These diyas not only make Diwali, the festival of lights, but they also symbolize the supremacy and consequence of brightness over darkness. Diya can be defined as a small earthen lamp that is specially lit on Diwali for puja and decorative purposes. A cotton wick is used in diyas, and oil or

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ghee serves as the burning fuel. Diyas are plain and coloured, big and small, simple and fancy. Their evolution over the years has been phenomenal. In the early years, they were made at home from clay and left in the sun to dry. Now the varieties are endless. Different types of diyas are appropriate for different applications. Children are sometimes encouraged to make their own diyas as a fun activity on Diwali. This could be done by using clay or dough. As the festive season approaches near, markets get flooded with various types of gifts, decoration, and puja items. The crafted and designer diyas are one of the biggest attractions in such markets. Diyas embellished with zari, painted patterns, mirrors, etc. are quite enticing by their very

appearance. Diwali melas, markets and stores showcase a multitude of handcrafted items made by ceramic and handicraft artists throughout the world, India in particular. Diwali diyas are one of the major attractions in such markets. Besides the conventional diyas, Lakshmi-Ganesha diyas can be seen in Diwali markets. However old may be the tradition of diyas on Diwali, it has never lost its significance and charm. Diwali celebrations are incomplete and graceless without the use of Diwali diyas. There is no doubt, diyas were, are, and will remain a significant part of the Diwali festival as they continue to extinguish the darkness in our homes.

lIGHTS The Tradition of


he Diwali illuminations with lighted diyas bring the spiritual brightness and joy with the hope of finding light in darkness, achieving knowledge where there is ignorance, and spreading love amidst hatred. Light is significant in Hinduism because it signifies goodness. So, during the Festival of Lights, ‘diyas’, or oil lamps, are burned throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil. Homes are filled with these oil lamps, candles and lights. Some people use decorated light candles, some decorated diya or clay lamps, and other decorative lights and put them in their windows for the festival. Traditionally people use ‘earthen lamps’ with cotton wicks and oil to light up the dark night. As man progressed, tradition gave way to modernity. Similarly, earthen lamps have replaced candles of various colours and forms. Electric lights of

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different shapes and sizes illuminate the dark, cold nights of Diwali. The idea behind the Festival of Lights comes from various versions of an ancient Hindu story. Ultimately it reaffirms the triumph of good over evil that brought back the light of knowledge and truth to mankind. In cities, as elsewhere, Diwali celebrations have become contemporary in keeping with the changing times. Until a decade ago, most city households used to illuminate their houses with the warm, sparkling bright lights of earthen lamps. But now, in addition to these diyas, wax candles of various colours and forms and coloured electric bulbs of different shapes and sizes are illuminated soon after dusk. There are many types of earthen lamps with intricate designs that would

fascinate you. There are also the starshaped earthen diyas that hold a large quantity of oil and five wicks in one lamp and are available at most Indian stores. Corners of rooms and puja rooms can be decorated and lighted up with brass, copper or metal lamps. Candles also offer a wide choice. There are the regular rod-shaped candles available in small, medium and large sizes. For those looking for designer candles, there are the flower-shaped and heart-shaped floating candles in soft hues. These scented candles when placed in glass bowls filled with water will float and burn for about two-anda-half hours. In essence, the importance of light in the home cannot be over exemplified as this joyous occasion purifies our hearts and souls and remind us that there is still the existence of good in the world.



host of traditional Decorative Items are used in Hindu households to redecorate the house on Diwali. Besides, presenting a bright new outlook, these also lend a joyful feel of the festival to the house. Presented below is a brief description of some of the most popular Diwali Decorative Items. Torans or Door Hangings Torans, or Door Hangings call what you may, are the most important of all Diwali decorative items. These are used to adorn the main entrance door and that of the worship room to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. Diwali Toran are handcrafted and come embellished with embroidery, bells, beads, mirror, shells, image of Lord Ganesha etc. Torans are very much in trend these days and are the most fashionable Diwali Decorative Gift. Diwali Diyas The word, ‘Deepavali’ means rows of lamps. This explains why Diyas are an integral part of the festival. The traditional Diwali Diyas or lamps have witnessed a makeover in past few years. Erstwhile they were the sole creation of the potter’s wheel but today they are

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Decorative Items

being handled by creative designers and craftsman who paint and turn diyas in innovative shapes and pattern. Wax filled diyas are the very much in demand as they are more convenient to use than the conventional oil ones. Brass and aluminium diyas are also quite popular. These days one can find a variety of ready to gift Diyas sets in the market. Diwali Candles Aromatic and designer candles are an important Diwali decorative item. Besides, illuminating the house they present a calm and soothing atmosphere. Just as Diyas, candles too have undergone a major transformation in terms of looks. Today they come in artistic shapes and innovative designs. It is considered auspicious and blissful to light floating candles in a glass pot filled with water and decorated with flower petals. One can browse through a variety of candles in popular Diwali

shopping sites and order them for dear ones as a Diwali gift. Decorative Lamps Diwali Lanterns and Lamps come in variety of shapes and material ranging from clay and paper to glass, brass and marble. They are considered to be an important Diwali decorations item as they turn a room bright in an artistic manner. Diwali Lamps are a wonderful gift for those wishing to redecorate their house. Wall Hangings Wall Hangings adorned with the image of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are a popular Diwali decorative item. As the festival is a traditional one, wall hangings with ethnic touch are preferred over others. Embroidered cloth panels too work wonderfully as a decoration. Lakshmi & Ganesha Sculptures and Idols A Lakshmi Puja is an intrinsic part of the Diwali Festival, Lakshmi as well as Ganesha sculptures and idols are a very important Diwali decorative item. These come in interesting designs in various sizes to suit the varied requirements of people. Brass and silver Lakshmi idols decorative are popular as Diwali Gift these days.



Diwali Rangoli

ll over the world, especially where there are Hindu inhabitants the Diwali festival is marked by gaiety and prosperity. During Diwali, Goddess Lakshmi is believed to visit homes that are well lit, so families decorate their homes. People wear their best clothes or buy new ones, children are given presents and New Year greetings are exchanged through visits or Diwali cards. Thus, a Rangoli design is created on doorsteps to welcome everybody. Rangoli exudes a pattern in color that varies from location to location. During Diwali, in the art of floor painting, the central rangoli design is the symbolic one denoting the deity or the theme. Most of the rangoli designs are circular exuding a sense of endlessness of time. Celestial symbols such as the sun, moon and other zodiac signs are also common themes for rangoli. Layered with symbolism is the lotus denoting Goddess Lakshmi, the unfolding of life. The raw materials mainly used to make

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rangoli are edibles like rice, rice flour, pulse and leaves. All over India, floor paintings are essentially white in color. White is a symbol of peace, purity and tranquillity. The material used is rice flour or rice paste, because rice to all Indians is a sign of prosperity. Yet another symbol of prosperity is the color yellow. Turmeric yellow is

also often used to fill in the white outlines. More popularly in Guyana, however, the white rice is coloured with various colours and left to dry. It is then used to fill the outlines of the patterned rangoli. Though this is a time consuming activity, the end result is worth it, for you as well as your family, adore this creation to welcome the Goddess.

The Tradition of



lso acclaimed as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is associated with lights, sweets, and liveliness, especially lights. As it is celebrated on the new-moon (Amavasya) night, lights and fireworks have a significant role to play in this festival. This is why, when we heard the name Diwali, the first impression that flashes through our mind is one of multi- coloured and impressive fireworks, sprinkling various sorts of bright coloured lights in the night sky. Although the tradition of fireworks on Diwali is not very old, still they have succeeded in becoming such a vital part of this festival that we can’t even imagine a wonderful Diwali without them. The majestic appeal of the Diwali

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festival is such that, it drifts everyone into a festive and relaxed mood even before its arrival. Temples and homes are decorated and lighted a few days before Diwali, as a sign of paying homage to and welcoming this great Hindu festival. Diwali is really a fabulous festival and fireworks play a significant role

in increasing its charm among all age-groups. Whether they are kids, youngsters, or older people, everybody enjoys the fireworks. However, there are some environmental issues associated with the use of firecrackers or fireworks on the Diwali festival, still there will be no exaggeration in saying that fireworks are an inherent part of Diwali celebrations.

Tradition of Gifting

Sweets on Diwali D

iwali, the festival of lights, is a symbolic festival of fun, happiness and celebrations. It is also the celebration of sweets. It is a known fact that for any kind of happy event or occasion, sweets are an essential part of the celebrations. Diwali is an occasion to enjoy sweets of different varieties. This festival is a time of exchanging gifts and showering your love and regards to friends, family and relatives.

most common sweet dishes include Gulab Jamun, Kheer, Barfis, Laddoos, Sweet Rice, Mittais, Jalebi, Peda/ Pera, Parsad etc. These sweets depict

the joys and happiness of celebrating the festival and giving the recipients the warmest wishes of happiness and enjoyment throughout the festival.

When we talk about the festival, it is not limited to only lights, lamps and firecrackers. Diwali is associated with some mouth-watering delights as well. Gifting sweets is a way of spreading joy and goodwill among both the givers and the receivers. Diwali Mithais and sweets are integral to the festival. Every house welcomes its visitors with sweets on that day. Gift packs of sweets or sweet hampers are distributed among neighbours, corporates offices, workers in factories, friends, loved ones and expected or unexpected guests at home. Companies gift mithais to their employees, parents send mithais to their married daughters house, elders buy sweets for the younger ones and so on. Special sweets are prepared at this time and shared with relatives and friends as Diwali Gifts. All the different varieties of sweets exude wonderful aromas and flavours and are enjoyed by the young and the old during Diwali. Most of the sweet dishes are enriched with ghee, dry fruits, nuts and saffron. Diwali sweets are numerous, but the 22 / Diwali 2013

Auspicious Diwali Gifts


iving gifts has always been an important ritual of the festival of Diwali. As is customary, Diwali gifts are an acknowledgement of love and affection that we give to our loved ones. After Diwali Puja and before lighting the crackers, gifts are exchanged among friends, acquaintances and family. Everyone competes for the best or the most number of gifts. With the ever increasing distances, Diwali gifts are now an extended expression of best wishes shared between near and dear ones. There are many auspicious gift ideas that can be chosen for this occasion. Some of

these popular Diwali gifts are discussed below.

Diwali Sweets - A perfect way to express your love or send best wishes is through sweets of different tastes adorned with beautiful packaging. Ganesha-Lakshmi Gifts - Bring home this beautifying divinity and decorate your home with their gracious presence and blissful blessings. Diwali Silver Gifts - Divine elegance crafted in pure silver and some such ideas of silver gifts are Thalis, Idols, Jewelry, Coins.

Diwali Gold Gifts - Gold is a precious metal which is most easily associated with Diwali festival. Any Diwali celebration is incomplete without gold based gift items. Diwali Diyas / Diwali Candles – Earthen, Clay, Brass, White Metal, Silver are the most commonly used materials of which Diyas are made. All these gifts or products are an inseparable part of this occasion and give an auspicious feel to the festival of lights, Diwali.

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The Hindu


New Year

iwali or Deepavali, is not only festival of lights, but also marks the beginning of the Hindu new year. It is one of the most important Indian national celebrations as it is believed that the Hindu goddess of prosperity visits homes that are brightly lit. Children make “diyas” which are small clay lamps to light and bring the good luck goddess to their home so they can receive new clothes and toys. The first day of Diwali is also a New Year of Business. All companies pay off debts and their cars are decorated with flowers and palm

leaves to bless the vehicles to run well in the New Year. The customs of wearing new garments and exchanging gifts and greetings have come to be associated with Diwali, probably because of these New Year celebrations. Accordingly most of the traditions of a New Year celebration are all present. The occasion sees the spring-cleaning and white-washing of houses; decorative designs or rangolis are painted on floors and walls to greet the New Year.

Fresh flowers, exchanges of gifts, new clothes, meeting with friends and family, and feasting are part of the colourful festival. Each region of India celebrates Diwali in its own way, but the lighting of many small earthenware oil lamps is common throughout the country, setting homes and gardens aglow with twinkling lights. The lamps are symbolic of the victory of the light of goodness and knowledge over the darkness of evil and ignorance. The lighting of the lamps is also a way for people to show thanks for the good things in their lives.

D HAPPY NEW YEAR 24 / Diwali 2013

Diwali Mela

iwali, the festival of lights and firecrackers, is a perfect occasion to revive personal relationships and social ties. Indians all over the world celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. The festivities associated with this festival encourage people to socialize and interact with each other. Such reunions are popularly called ‘Diwali Mela’. The series of ceremonious occasions that Diwali brings with itself gives an opportunity to the people to pay visits to their relatives, friends, neighbours and business associates and exchange sweets and gifts with them.

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Diwali Milan is a significant affair, as it is the time when younger people express respect to the elder ones and the latter shower blessings upon the former. A special friendly and pleasant atmosphere is created all around, where everyone is busy greeting, wishing and exchanging gifts with one another. The women in the family prepare lots of snacks and sweets at home, especially for serving on Diwali Milan gatherings. The women share these snacks and sweets with their guests as well as their families. Thus, people cherish the sweet memories of this festival by sweetening each other’s mouth with mouth watering variety of eatables. Till some time back, Diwali Milan was just the formal affair of paying a visit to the acquaintances’ home and exchange gifts and sweets with them. As the time has changed and so has the trend, Diwali Milan has now taken the shape of a party, rather than just being a family get together. Enthralling parties are arranged by people, just a weekend before the festival, a few days prior to it or on the day itself (in some cases). Party halls are booked several days before the event. On the other extent, if it is a traditional family get-together, then the host(s) would arrange a lavish dinner for the guests. If you are planning to arrange a Diwali Milan for your close friends, relatives and business associates, then consider spending for the occasion wisely. In case you are planning to organize a lunch or dinner, then plan it beforehand. Be sure to select the food and beverages according to the general taste and preferences of the guests. Include one or two varieties of sweets in your menu. At the end of the get-together/party, you may present favors to your guests, such as, dinner set, table cloth, timepiece, photo frame, gift baskets, sweets etc.

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Diwali Recipes

espite sweet meats form an integral part of Diwali celebrations, savory dishes are also common and the tradition of “seven curry” is popular. Some popular sweet meats served during Diwali are sweet rice, mithai, barfis, jalebi, ladoos, Gulab Jamoon, kheer, peras, lapsi, just to name a few.

Below are some simple recipes to help you make your Diwali sweeter:

Gulab Jamun Ingredients 1 cup Carnation Milk Powder 1/2 cup all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 2 tablespoons butter -melted Whole milk just enough to make the dough 2 cups Sugar 1 cup water Oil for frying

Method Make the dough by combining the milk powder, flour, baking soda and butter. Add just enough whole milk to make a medium-hard dough. Divide the dough into 18-20 portions. Make balls by gently rolling each portion between your palms into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a plate. Cover with a damp yet dry kitchen towel. Heat the oil on high and then lower the heat to medium. Slip in the balls into the hot oil from the side of the pan, one by one. They will sink to the bottom of the pan, but do not try to move them. Instead, gently shake the pan to keep the balls from browning on just one side. After about 5 mins, the balls will rise to the surface. The Gulab Jamuns should rise slowly to the top if the temperature

is just right. Now they must be gently and constantly agitated to ensure even browning on all sides. If the temperature of the oil is too high then the Gulab Jamuns will tend to break. So, adjust the temperature to ensure that the Gulab Jamuns do not break or cook too quickly. The balls must be fried very slowly under medium temperatures. This will ensure complete cooking from inside and even browning. The syrup should be made earlier and

kept warm. To make the hot sugar syrup add mix the 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water. Add 4-5 cardamom pods. Mix with a spoon and then heat at medium heat for 5-10 minutes until sugar is all dissolved in water. Do not overheat, that will caramelize the sugar. Transfer this hot syrup into a Corning serving dish. Keep warm on stove. Add the fried Gulab Jamuns directly into the warm syrup. Leave Gulab Jamuns in syrup overnight for best results. They can be served warm or at room temperature. Diwali 2013 / 27

Jalebi Ingredients

2 cups All purpose flour 11/2 tbsp. fine grained semolina or rice flour 1/4th tsp. baking powder 2 tbsp curd (plain yogurt) 11/4th cups warm water 1/2 tsp. saffron threads, slowly dryroasted and powdered 3 cups sugar 2 2/3rd cups water 1/2 tsp green cardamom seeds powder 11/2 tbsp. kewra water or rose water Ghee or vegetable oil for frying


Mix the flour, semolina or rice flour, baking powder, curd and 3/4th cup of the water in a bowl (preferably a ceramic bowl). Mix well with a whisk. Mix well and then add remaining water

and 1/8th tsp. of saffron powder, and whisk until smooth. Set aside for about 2 hours to ferment. Whisk thoroughly before use. Prepare string syrup by dissolving sugar in the water. Just before the syrup is ready add saffron and cardamom powder. Heat oil in a kadhai. Pour the batter in a steady stream into the kadhai to

form coils. Make a few at a time. Deep fry them until they are golden and crisp all over but not brown. Remove from the kadhai and drain on kitchen paper and immerse in the syrup.

In the case of a Diwali Motorcade, children and sometimes adults are adorned with richly decorated costumes to represent Lord Rama, Mother Sita and Lakshman’s return from exile. On the apex of these vehicles, sits a little girl beautifully dressed and representing the Supreme Goddess of Wealth and Beauty – Mother Lakshmi. She sits in an astonishing, elegantly crafted Lotus flower which is illuminated with fairy lights and other forms of decorations.

Leave for at least 4-5 minutes so that they soak the syrup. Take them out of syrup and serve hot.

Milk Peda / Pera Recipe Ingredients

1. Milk Powder - 2 cups 2. Condensed milk - 1 can, approx 400 gms 3. Saffron - 2 to 3 strands, soaked in 1 tbsp of warm milk 4. Sugar - 1/3 cup

A Passion for Lights and Creativity

Diwali Motorcades


Take a wide bottomed nonstick kadai , add the milk powder, condensed milk, combine well without any lumps. Transfer the kadai to the stove top on medium low flame and start stirring. Now add the 2 tbsp of ghee, soaked saffron milk and stir together well. Keep stirring until the mixture is bubbly, thick and starts leaving the pan. It would take around 8 to 10 minutes to get this consistency. Switch off the heat once it starts leaving the pan, do not keep the mixture anymore 28 / Diwali 2013

on heat else it won’t yield a soft peda. Now allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes. Handle the dough only when you can withstand the temperature.

by little and form a soft, not cracked smooth ball. Press the middle of the ball with your fingers just like you do for making thumb print cookies.

Grease the hand with ghee and start forming the mixture to a soft dough.

Place the crushed cardamom in the middle of each peda’s and serve. Always store them in an air-tight container. Keep refrigerated for longer use, say 1 week.

Slightly apply ghee to the other hand as well, start pinching the dough little


Her red and gold sari and beautiful flowing hair portray and beauty and femininity of women. She is sometimes accompanied by an equally stunningly dressed Lord Vishnu, her consort. The vehicles are all richly decorated with lights and other creative props that fascinate on-lookers and make

iwali is amongst the best celebrated holidays in Guyana and is eagerly anticipated with much fervor and glee. Among the many traditions of Diwali is the renowned Diwali Motorcade celebrated on the eve preceding Diwali. A Diwali Motorcade is much like a parade or procession of persons dressed in costumes depicting something prominent and admired.

Diwali 2013 / 29

the procession even more beautiful. There are also many other persons on board these vehicles who engage in singing of bhajans, devotional songs and chanting God’s name. Sometimes they also walk behind the respective vehicles they represent and sing enthusiastically. The colourful lights from these motorcade contrast magnificently with the darkness of the night. This creates a stunning scene and one that almost every Guyanese looks forward to. Many persons could be seen flashing their cameras and patiently videoing, not daring to miss a second of this memorable event. Various organization and religious institutions, Hindu Temples in particular, opt to participate in this event. They compete for the number one spot and are awarded various prizes at a ceremony later in the night. Diwali Motorcades are very popular in Georgetown. Thousands of people of all ethnicity camp out with their family and friends at the seawall to get a glimpse of this lighted affair. Others go 30 / Diwali 2013

to the LBI Community Centre ground with the hope of securing a good spot so they can view the motorcade better. The event culminates at various centre

grounds across the country where judges wait anxiously to examine and scrutinize the floats and their participants.

Jyoti - Diwali 2013  

Guyana's Number One Publication that highlights the rich and much anticipated Festival of Lights - Diwali. Celebrate. Enjoy. Reunite