Their crackers are saved for Vishu (New Year according to Malayalam calendar) and their sweets for Onam (the harvest festival)!
Diwali or Deepavali, which translates into a “line of Diyas/lights”, is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. Roughly saying, it is the victory of Gods!
The festival of Diwali is notorious for noisy crackers and its pan-Indian nature. But there is one state that likes to have its own way and doesn’t celebrate this festival of wealth, prosperity and goodness, and that is none other that “God’s Own Country, Kerala.
What is different?
Diwali as a pan-Indian festival remains hugely unpopular in this particular state. Kerala celebrates its own version of this age old custom of celebrating the victory of “Good over Evil” via its main festival, Onam.
As much as we like to believe the legend that Diwali is the celebration of the victory Lord Ram had over the asura Ravana, the fact that it is, practically, a celebration of wealth and opulence doesn’t go unnoticed by the Communist-ruled state of Kerala.
A little bit of History:
Before the Independence of India, Kerala was hugely isolated from the rest of the country. Due to lack of contact and meager cultural exchange, Kerala developed its own peculiar festivals and modes of celebration. Therefore, Diwali never became a part of their social fabric.
Kerala, infact, shares a lot of its culture and tradition with Central Asia, Far East, the Chinese and the Romans. The pagan nature of its religious beliefs shill holds true in case of its Hindu population. Hinduism, in Kerala, was a product of superimposition of the Hindu Gods on local deities like the “naga”/snake deity.
With cosmopolitanism and a lot of Gujrati, Marwari, Sindhi, Tamilian, Andhra, Bihari and Bengali influence coming in, it is not a surprise that we can hear a sporadic burst of cracker on a far horizon during Diwali.