Kristie loves holidays, and some of her lowest moments in our new home on our new continent is that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other "American" holidays will be celebrated differently. Luckily, however, within our first month in South Asia, we got to encounter the biggest of holidays.
Think of the lights of Christmas, the fireworks of July 4th (without any restrictions on setting them off in city limits--or even on your own rooftops), and the neighborhood Krewes around the Gulf Coast of MS & LA coming together to construct the best displays during Mardi Gras.
With that in mind, we bring you Diwali...
AKA, "the festival of lights." Driving around looking at Diwali lights, the streets were extremely crowded, and groups were setting off fireworks everywhere. There were big, brilliant explosions in the sky, but more often you saw the hectic, dangerous-looking blasts from in front of stores or homes.
This is our building, with the lights strung by our landlord. We live on the 3rd floor, which is the top of the left side of the building. There is a little 4th floor apartment above the stairs on the right side of the picture.
Our little neighborhood built this giant bamboo structure with cloth overlay. In our part of South Asia, Diwali corresponds with Kali Puja (worship of the Hindu god Kali), so you see models of Kali, Lakshmi, and Shiva inset in the middle of the neighborhoods' structures.