Today (November 11th) is Diwali! Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama (and his wife and brother) after a 14 year exile. People celebrate all over India with lights, lanterns, and firecrackers, meant to illuminate their path and symbolize the triumph of good over evil.
Additionally, it is a tradition for some to do a deep cleaning/renovation of their house around this time, and to purchase new clothes and jewelry as well. We helped our Resident Director decorate her family’s house on Sunday, and are going to our Kuchipudi teacher’s house later this evening to decorate and celebrate there.