Across most of the states of India, the preparations for Deepavali span many days.  It is an exciting time when people look forward to celebrating friendship, being with family, eating sweets and, of course, shopping.

Shops and people’s homes are cleaned, painted and decorated with garlands of flowers. Employers distribute sweets to their employees to let them know they are appreciated and to keep them motivated to work hard. People engaged in businesses large and small, especially banking, money lenders, worship the Goddess Lakshmi to bring prosperity. In return, she bestows wealth, gold, food, grains and materialistic items on the people.

In keeping with the prosperity theme, merchants put household items like refrigerators, TVs, furniture and electronics on sale during Deepavali. Most people buy new clothes at this time. Business at saree shops is brisk and the stores are crowded. Most women prefer Kanchipuram silk sarees while some prefer Banaras silks.  Families crowd into these shops, kick off their shoes at the door and make themselves comfortable on the floor that is covered with cushions.  Once the shoppers are settled, tea, coffee, Coke and ice cold milk blended with almonds, pistachio, cardamom and sugar are served.  Of course the treats make the shopping very enjoyable for the entire family.

I hope you have made or purchased your sweets because tomorrow is Deepavali.

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