Over the past week we have been settling more deeply into our lives and new families here in Varanasi and deepening our studies of this incredible place, with focuses on Islam, Hinduism and the caste system, and women’s health in India. What has been most exciting for us recently, though, has been getting ready for the festival of Diwali, which has just begun. Diwali includes a number of separate pujas (religious ceremonies) on each of 5 days, culminating in the colorful puja for the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Homes are cleaned, festive lights and candles adorn every building and temple, and families celebrate by wearing their finest dress and enjoying the best food and sweets. We will all enjoy participating in the festivities, shopping for sarees and gifts, and probably over-eating!
Stay tuned for more Diwali photos in the coming days!