Today is Dhanteras, two days before the New Moon. Today homes and businesses are cleaned and renovated. Doors are adorned with torans, entryways are decorated with rangoli and it is a lucky day to purchase dhan - gold, jewelry and new kitchen utensils.
Tuesday will be Choti Diwali. The home is cleaned thoroughly and the broom placed near the alter. Lakshmi visits the cleanest homes first (she wouldn't be visiting mine, that's for sure!). Her small footprints are patterned onto the floor with a mix of rice flower and vermillion powder, or rice paper and a red pen can mark footprints to be taped onto the floor. Bathe in fragrent oils and purchase new clothes. Food for the alter include sweets made from coconut, almonds, pistachios, nutmeg, ginger, sesame and poppy seeds.
I'll revisit Diwali on Wednesday, my favorite of the five days, but here are some pictures of Ganesh and Lakshmi for you to enjoy. Happy Diwali to my friends in India.