October 22, 2006

Festival of Lights

Happy Deepavali!

One of the nice things about our new neighbourhood is that we’re quite close to Toronto’s Little India. So this year we (Mark, my parents, and I) finally did something that Mark’s been wanting to do for years — go down to Little India for the Diwali celebrations. Diwali, or Deepavali (as Mark’s family always called it, apparently — it’s the more common Southern name) is one of the most important Hindu festivals, and Mark has fond memories of the celebrations in Ottawa when he was a boy. It’s possible this is why his memories are so fond:

deepavalistorefront.jpg

That’s the enticing view through a storefront on Gerrard St., of an amazing array of sweets. One of the activities associated with Deepavali is sharing sweets — no wonder the festival appealed to a young boy! So we, of course, had to honour the tradition. Here I am selecting from the multicoloured and amazing variety of sweets available in another store:

deepavalisweetsbuffet.jpg

We wandered around, had a really yummy South Indian lunch, and bought some interesting groceries to make dinner. When we got home, we sat down to sample the various delicacies we’d obtained, washed down with chai:

deepavalimeal.jpg

(In case it’s not obvious, that’s my mom and dad with us). The sweets are, well, overwhelmingly sweet, but delicious. You can see the selection we had a bit better here:

deepavalitable.jpg

By the time we’d recovered from our excesses, dinner was quite late, but yummy — and there’s lots of leftovers, since we were all so stuffed from the sweets!

As a celebration of life, light, and family, and an occasion for indulging in sweet things, Deepavali seems like a good candidate for inclusion in my personal calendar of festivals. So, happy Diwali to everyone!

(PS — thanks go to my dad for the pictures!)

Posted by Aven at October 22, 2006 01:54 PM
Comments

YUM! I’ve never yet been down to Little India, and all that food looks fantastic. Mmmm.

Posted by: Glenna at October 22, 2006 02:42 PM

Oooh…that looks even better then our desserts last weekend!

Posted by: Dani at October 22, 2006 08:15 PM

Yum, that looks good. and you guys look so happy.It warms the heart.

Posted by: denny Mcmillan at October 22, 2006 11:53 PM

Yum, that looks good. and you guys look so happy.It warms the heart.

Posted by: denny Mcmillan at October 22, 2006 11:53 PM

Aven - you look so cute with your mom!

Posted by: Jill at October 23, 2006 12:09 PM

One of my favorite memories of freshman year at Carolina was going to the temple in Durham with my friend Sree at Diwali and discovering said sweets. Lots and lots of them. This is by far the pregnant woman’s favorite holiday :) I may have to trek down to Sunnyvale today and pick up some for myself! Hope you are feeling good…you look great, and I’m so glad Mom and Dad are there. Nice to have the last minute pampering :)

Posted by: Heather at October 23, 2006 01:22 PM

The sweets look incredible and I’m so jealous. But I have to say I’m distracted by the darling tablecloth!

Ummm tea. I’m going to go make a pot…

Posted by: Laurie at October 23, 2006 05:09 PM

Those sweets look positively yummy! sounds like fun.

Posted by: Carrie K at October 23, 2006 08:00 PM

Ah! Burfi! Burfiburfiburfi… BURP.

And fillings singing from the silver leaf.

Fond memories…

Posted by: Hugh at October 23, 2006 08:44 PM

This sounds like a fun time… Halifax is such a small city it does not have ethnic neighbourhoods as such. The closest we come to something like is the Multi-Cultural Festival and the huge Greek Fest each summer.

Posted by: Paula at October 24, 2006 01:07 PM