India is a vast land of thousands of festivals, out of which Diwali is considered to be one of the most auspicious for Indians. The myth goes that Lord Rama, the king of India returns to Ayodhya(his kingdom) after fourteen years in exile. The people are overjoyed on his return and light candles and burst firecrackers in celebration. Markets are abuzz with activity and people celebrate the festival in the grandest possible way.
I was born in India but soon after, my family immigrated to Dubai, UAE. During the first few years of my life I did not know how grand Diwali celebrations were, until once when my family decided to take me and my sister to India to see it. We left to India a couple of days before the festival so that we could spend some time with my grandparents and see our relatives. We also used this time to buy gifts for ourselves, our relatives and friends. A few days before the festival the ladies in the house began making sweets and other delicious savories that are to be distributed to friends and relatives. My sister and I took up the task of wrapping gifts that were to be distributed. We also had to vacuum and mop the floors of our house. Even though all this work was tedious we felt accomplished once these tasks were completed.
On the day of Diwali we were woken up early in the morning by our parents. We had to shower quickly and leave to the nearby temple. We offered our prayers to Lord Rama(Hindu god) and donated to the temple before we left. As soon as we reached home we distributed gifts and sweets to our friends, neighbors and relatives. My sister and I along with the other kids of the neighborhood burst crackers in the streets. We were enthused by these celebrations and enjoyed ourselves immensely. In the evening all of us dressed in our new clothes. Our relatives visited our house and brought us gifts and sweets. The trip to India during Diwali will always be one of my best childhood memories. It was a trip that combined pleasure with a lot of cultural learning that made it enjoyable.