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Published: November 11th 2010
After our trek, there was nothing we wanted more than a good sleep and a decent meal. Since our return to Kathmandu coincided with the Hindu festival of Diwali, our chances of getting a good nights sleep for the next few nights looked pretty slim!
Nevermind, there wasn't much we could do to avoid the noise. Diwali in Kathmandu was as colourful and manic as anywhere else.
Shops were decorated, mandalas made from brightly coloured powders and petals were carefully constructed outside businesses and houses, children visited every shop and house in town - singing until they were given a few rupees or sent on their way with a push. The smell of candles and oil lamps filled the air, while after dark, the city streets were alive with flickering light as thousands of tea lights were lit.
On the second day, dogs were honoured and decorated with orange powder and a necklace of marigolds. Small boys (and not so small boys) lit fire crackers and occasionally threw them in the direction of startled tourists. The noise was deafening but the locals looked so happy you couldn't help but smile too.
The locals in the back streets away
from Thamel, gathered in groups and danced into the middle of the night and in some cases were still going at about 3am. They were keen for the tourists to join in as well, It was hard trying to walk past without being dragged into the circle for a bit of clumsy jumping and hand clapping that must have looked so uncoordinated compared to their bollywood dance moves!
The markets in Patan were great for people watching. They were absolutely packed as people stocked up on the beautiful powders used for making mandalas. There were huge queues as people jostled each other for sugary sweet treats that were later shared with friends and family. The trinkets for brothers and sisters were displayed all other the path along with every conceivable fruit and vegetable.
I wish I was able to capture more of the celebrations of Diwali using my camera but without a proper tripod, it was tricky to photograph at night. Hope these photos show a little of the atmosphere of Diwali in Kathmandu.
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