• Shila Desai

Celebrating Diwali during a pandemic

Diwali is unstoppable in its message of hope and regeneration. So are we.



Although the celebration this year is subdued, Diwali's message has never been more relevant. The lighting of clay lamps or diwa is meant to dispel negativity and despair, and let in enlightenment and peace.


In our home during a pandemic, we created an earth-friendly rangoli, made traditional Indian sweets, conducted a virtual puja with extended family, and even managed to set off a few fireworks.


Rangoli patterns remind us to let go of attachments and focus on the process, not the end. Afterwards, the "masterpiece" is swept away. Traditionally rangoli is made with ground up stone pigments, flowers, or rice flour. Ours is a nod to our chosen home of Canada, and its gorgeous bounty of fall. We crushed dried leaves of Norway maple, Japanese maple, and oak, and accented with dried berries. Bonus: fully compostable and earth-friendly!


Come on in! A glimpse at rangoli in process, and penda-making. Recipe from my childhood friend's channel: Premila's Veggie Recipes.


Chopda pujan is a ritual performed by business owners to invite goddess Lakhsmi to bless the accounting books and bring prosperity in the coming year. We conducted ours virtually with friends and family in Canada and North America. My wish was to allow all shuttered travel companies to get travelling again soon!


Of course, there was food and feasting. We couldn't invite friends and family into our homes because Toronto just went back into lockdown. So I'm packaging sweets and dropping them off along with flowers and our wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy Diwali and New Year.


During COVID19, we are all learning to live a different reality. Although it can seem grim, there's also much to celebrate. Festivals such as Diwali offer an opportunity to do just that.


From our home to yours, Happy Diwali and New Year!




Thanks for taking a look! I am Shila Desai, owner of E.Y.H.O. Tours. I personally handcraft travel itineraries, infusing them with curated activities, accommodations, and sightseeing. Together with my in-country teams, we deliver exceptional holidays every time. E.Y.H.O. specialises in Indian sub-continent, Africa, Turkey, and Mexico among other locations. I invite you to leave me a comment or write shila@eyhotours.com




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