Diwali Lighting Affair

Diwali is celebrated in India and it is the festival lights. To a Hindu, this is the most important festival of the year just like Christmas is for Christians. Each household will light clay lamps around their house which symbolizes the protection against spiritual darkness.

 

diwali_festival
picture by en.wikipedia.org

Diwali is the one time that the whole city is lite by using clay candles and it is said that you can see Indian from space. Today, it is celebrated by many faiths and become more of a national holiday than specific to the Hindu’s.

 

Originally, it was celebrated as a harvest festival which marked the last harvest before winter, for this reason. People seek the blessings from Lakshmi- the Goddess of wealth as they were closing off their financial books for the year and beginning their new fiscal year the next day. You can almost say that Diwali is also like New Years for the Hindu’s.

 

Diwali has always been celebrated at the end of October and beginning of November. For people living in North America, that is perfect timing as it always coincides with Halloween and makes celebrating easier and extend their celebrations. This year Diwali is on October 30, 2016. Without a family gathering, clay lamps, fireworks, strings of electric lights, sharing of sweets, flowers and the worship of Lakshmi there is not celebration.

 

It is said that Lakshmi wanders the earth that night looking to enter houses where she welcomed and in order for her to do that all the doors and windows must be open along with lit lamps to invite her in. Are you being blessed this year by Lakshmi’s presence?

 

Depending on what region of India you are from you have a different interpretation of the story of Diwali.

  • Northern Indian- where Ram had defeated Ravan in Ayodhya by lighting a row of clay lamps
  • Southern India- where Lord Krishna (one of the many names of Vishnu) defeated Narakasura’s demon
  • Western India- where Lord Vishnu (the Preserver and Protector of the Universe) sent King Bali’s demon to rule the netherworld
  • Southern India- where the Goddess Parvathi Killed Bakrasura by taking the form of Kali (Goddess of the Mother Universe and protector) and saved the world

No matter the region, the common thread of Diwali is that it celebrates the victory of good vs evil.

 

Five Days of Diwali

There are five days to Diwali each day is celebrated differently with different meanings.

picture by: independent.co.uk
picture by: independent.co.uk
  • Day 1- great time for spring cleaning the house, utensils and your place of business
  • Day 2- people decorate their homes with clay lamps and decorate the floor with a rangoli (a pattern on the floor using coloured powder or sand)
  • Day 3- is the main day where families gather, Lakshmi prayer is performed (puja), a feast and fireworks
  • Day 4- marks the first day of the New Year and this where gifts are exchanged with blessing for the year
  • Day 5- brothers visit their married sister where they are welcomed with a lavish meal and love.

 

 

Come by the An Indian Affair this Diwali and celebrate with your family and our family. We wish you a very Happy and Safe Diwali.

 

picture by: appsforpcplanet.com
picture by: appsforpcplanet.com

 

What region’s story resonates with you?

 

How are you going to celebrate Diwali?

 

By Fatima Sumar

Freedom in Gluten Free Food

Are you fleeing bloated after the last meal you ate or are you all of a sudden very tired?

 

Are you walking around with some brain fog?

 

Today, more than ever what we eat really affects are our overall health in many ways beyond our external appearance. Our ancestors were much healthier as they ate all raw foods that were full of nutrients, protein, fiber, and all the other good stuff our body needs to operate at optimal capacity.

 

So what has changed over the decades? Today majority of what people are eating comes from a box, a can or a package and is produced in the masses with DNA modifications or known as GMO – “(Genetically Modified Organism) is a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic.” ~by Kids Have the Right to Know.

 

Gluten is the protein found in wheat and today has altered many times before it reaches us as the consumer. Have you ever asked yourself what makes a dough sticky? Well, it is gluten which is found in wheat, rye, cereal, barley, oats and other cross-breads.

 

thyroid-and-gluten-hydraToday, more and more people are discovering they are gluten intolerant or celiac while people are not aware of their own bodies are saying it is a fad. You decide which it is. Most common symptoms are bloating, migraines, walking around in a permanent brain fog, constantly feeling lethargic, or tired and sleepy soon after you eat a meal.

 

Gluten intolerant is someone that has a wheat allergy with reactions similar to any food allergy and an individual who is celiac is not able to process their food properly. More specifically, their intestines are damaged while not being able to absorb vital nutrients.

 

A couple of years back I had massive migraines for 16 days consecutive and went to the doctors and all I was told is that I need to take medication and I started doing some research and discovered that I was gluten intolerant. Once I understood really what that meant and how I can eat without harming my body it was truly exciting and very creative.

 

Being Indian, it is a necessity for every woman to know how to make rotlis/rotis almost at soon after birth. I always refused to learn how to cook rotlis although I enjoyed the taste; then once I discovered I was gluten free I thought myself how to make killer gluten free rotlis. Ironically, flours native to Indian cooking are all gluten free like millet flour (bajra), sorgum flour (jowar), channa flour (chickpeas), corn flour and rice flour.

 

After a month of cutting out gluten from my life, I could see a significant change I no longer suffered from migraines, I was losing weight steadily, I had so much more energy, my brain fog was gone, I was far more productive, I was a happier person and the bloating was gone. I enjoyed eating my food and the new lifestyle I had for myself. If I ever went off, I could feel it instantly my migraines were back my stomach hurt and I would be in a fog for a few days.

 

That was enough for me to change my lifestyle forever. Do I miss certain foods, no because I have found ways to indulge in my favorite foods.

 

gluten free flours and typography

When dining at An Indian Affair rest assured, that we do have options for gluten free Indian food without forgoing any of the tastes you love so much.

 

Do you know anyone that might be gluten intolerant/celiac?

 

Do you have any symptoms that you have chalked up as part of life?

 

By Fatima

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