For many Hindu students, this year was the first time they spent Diwali away from home. This never seems to be met with the same ‘shock horror’ response as a student spending Christmas away from home, but for those of us used to spending Diwali with our family and friends, this felt like a big deal.
Diwali is truly a family festival. The festivities start a few days earlier by decorating the house with flowers, diyas (earthen lamps) and rangoli (a display of coloured powder). On Diwali itself, we start the evening by gearing up in traditional Indian attire and then taking some time to visit the temple to pray as a family.