Guwahati Prepares For Diwali Celebration After Relaxation In Covid-19 Restrictions

Upasana Gohain

With Diwali- the festival of lights knocking doors in the Indian households, market places all over the country have taken a colorful turn.  In the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic had stood as a barrier on Diwali celebrations in the lives of Hindus or Indians in general.

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However, with the decline in Covid-19 infection and the society slowing getting back to normalcy, India is all set to welcome the festival of lights with full enthusiasm and excitement this year.

In Guwahati-Assam, the office of the Guwahati Deputy Commissioner of Police on Monday, November 1 issued a notification highlighting the delegated locations for selling of firecrackers. As per the notification of the DC, no shopkeepers are allowed to sell firecrackers on footpaths, roads and congested residential areas in the city. Which is why, this year, very less shops selling firecrackers has been seen around Guwahati city.

Moreover, the increasing concern over climate change, pollution on earth and the increasing cases of health damage to animals and people, citizens are slowly avoiding using firecrackers to promote green Diwali. This in turn has decreased the sale of firecrackers. However, the wholesale fireworks shops in the Fancy Bazar area and in the other permitted locations are still seeing huge crowds. Another popular item that has grabbed attention this year is the Chinese Flying Lanterns. People were seen buying these in the Fancy Bazar Gate No 2. The lanterns are sold at Rs. 80 per piece and are considered much safe and beautiful in comparison to bursting of firecrackers.

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Sky full of flying lanterns (representative image)

“I have bought earthen lamps and these Chinese Flying lanterns along with some lights. This is the fourth year since I have stopped bursting firecrackers after my pet got serious injuries from firecrackers,” said a local who came for Diwali shopping in Fancy Bazar.

The Diwali is also a time for the potters in India. It is that time of the year where earthen lamps are sold in bulks in India and a time of great profits for the artisans. The last year was extremely disheartening for the earthen lamps artisans as Covid-19 pandemic have immensely affected the market of these artisans.

This year in Guwahati, there has been a huge increase in the number of earthen lamp, locally called “Diya or Saki” sellers in the roadsides and footpaths across the city. Although there was this contemplation regarding the sale of these earthen lamps due to the high price of mustard oil that is used to light these lamps. To the surprise, the sales are comparatively good this year.

“Sale is good this year. I have been sitting here since Monday and the sale has been good so far. Even though I myself was in doubt whether people are going to buy earthen lamps as tuni lights are very popular among the people in Diwali, to my surprise the earthen lamps are selling in a good pace,” expressed an earthen lamp artisan in Ganeshguri area of Guwahati.

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There is also a huge crowd in colorfully designed earthen lamp shops which are new in the markets. People are buying them in bulk despite the high price of the colorful diyas this year.

“These colourful diyas are a bit expensive but they look very beautiful. Moreover, these are handmade which is we should really appreciate these small businesses. I bought 20 of these to decorate around the Rangoli I am going to make,” said a happy customer in the Fancy Bazar.

It needs to be mentioned that with the decrease in sale of firecrackers, the sale of earthen lamps have increased in Guwahati. This is believed to be the result of last year’s of Covid-19 lockdown for which celebrations was not possible.

Another common scene this year in the Diwali markets across Guwahati is the selling of powdered colors for the colorful Rangolis that is made in the Hindu households in India during festival seasons. This year, there is an increase in the number of color powder shops along with earthen lamps that has grabbed the attention of maximum customers in Guwahati.

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With this being the scenario of Diwali markets in Guwahati, it can be concluded that citizens are eagerly waiting for tomorrow to celebrate the must loved festival of light- Diwali after a year of not being able to celebrate festivals wholeheartedly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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