While most of you thought this past Saturday was just a regular October day, the whole of India and a host of Indian expats were celebrating Diwali - the Hindu New Year. The fact that I also ended up celebrating Diwali at the Neasden Temple in West London had only a little bit to do with the fact that I accompanied a Hindu to the to the festivities - I likely would have gone regardless. Not only do I love holidays (I am American) I love, love, LOVE fireworks - and since we don't get them for the Fourth of July here - well, I just have to take them as they come.
First stop was the flower-bedecked temple for prayer.
The men and women are separated on arrival. Without my Hindu guide, I was left to wonder what I was doing/supposed to next while sitting on a platform in the center of a room of idol-Gods amongst 50 Indian women who were also probably left to wonder what a bewildered-looking blonde girl was doing there.
Hurray! Survived the temple ceremonies having committed only minor faux pas. Next up! Food!
Rohit with a delicious plate of ginger and cardamom steeped Chole Puri. Some claim he makes it better... maybe it was just because I was starving, but I'm not so sure... (yes, he can consider that a challenge).
Then, the trek past the temple to the fireworks.
Where we started with trance music and lasers... before...
Ka-bam! Happy Diwali!