Diwali in Jaipur

Jaipur was the second stop on our tour of Rajasthan, and we were just in time for the Indian Festival of Lights known as Diwali (it was one of the reasons why we wanted to come to India in November).  In India, Diwali is the biggest holiday.  Everyone returns home to spend a few days with their families, exchange gifts, and consume sweets.  What makes Diwali special in Jaipur is that every business decorates their shops with lights (a bit like Christmas back home, but on steroids).  The city even builds temporary archways in the major intersections, which are also decorated and lit.  

For us, the thing that was the most memorable was lighting firecrackers with the kids that lived nearby our hotel!!  On the actual Diwali day, every family has a dinner, performs a prayer around 7pm, and from then until 3 or 4am, the air is flooded with a non-stop barrage of lights and explosions from firecrackers (and full on fireworks) being lit everywhere in the streets, back yards, and off rooftops.  Some families that we spoke to, told us they spent around $300usd just on fireworks for the night.
Earlier in the day, we visited the Amber Fort - a massive fortification located 11km from Jaipur.
Jen and Dom also checked out some tailor-made clothing shops.  After a bit of negotiation, they decided to go for it - Dom got a pair of pants and Jen got a Punjabi shirt. 
And while Jen and Dom were shopping, Guy played Cricket with the local kids outside the shop.