I am having an extra sparkling Diwali, since I got good AdSense earnings for October, thanks to ISC and partner sites!
I have always had a huge enthusiasm for the Festival of Lights since I was a kid. That enthusiasm has not abated one bit even today. I just love making rangoli designs, and make one new one for every day of the festival. This year, my mother has shown me how to make Rangoli designs with grains and on oil. Wow! Just imagine - you can make rangoli designs without rangoli powders; instead, use the grains you have at home.
Another feature of Diwali I just can't do without are the traditional clay diyas. I dislike the artificial wax candle diyas which are flooding the markets todays. Some people prefer this as the clay diyas they regard messy due to the oil. For me, though, it is these oil-and-wick diyas which truly make Diwali beautiful. So what if the diya leaves an oily patch? It can be easily cleaned up later!!
Of course, there is the kandeel too. Here, again, the market is flooded with Chinese-type lanterns. However, the most beautiful are out very own Indian kandeels! Even the string of light bulbs has been taken over by Chinese twinkling lights - which have a short life span and cannot be changed. Our old-fashioned Indian bulbs last for many Diwali festivals!!
As for firecrackers, I have always hated the noisy ones. I only like the simple sparklers. Of course, having outgrown childhood, crackers are no longer a part of my life.
Diwali baksheesh is one tradition that we follow, giving a little baksheesh to the servant, postmen and building sweepers.