Monday, October 18, 2010

Kandeels: paper lanterns lighted during Diwali

A Kandeel [Sanskrit: Akasha Deepa (lantern of the sky), Kannada: Goodu Deepa (Nested light) or Nakshatra Gudu (Star like nest)], is a colorful decorative lantern made of wooden frame and covered papers. These are generally hung in front of homes during Diwali (or Deepavali meaning Festival of Lights), sometimes for around a month from the first day of Diwali.

Kandeels are traditionally built in a crystal shape with tails at the bottom. But in modern times, people created Kandeels in different shapes of stars, globes, airplanes, or any shape that suits their imagination, but the central idea is to make the Festival of Lights more impressive and colorful.

Diwali (also spelt Divali) is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, and celebrated in India, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Fiji, Surinam, and other places where people of Indian origin and/ or Hindu/ Sikh/ Jain faiths live.

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