So while we Hindus are still answerable for our traditions and have to bear liberal brunt, here is an understanding of why crackers in Diwali are essential part of the custom. Here is my analysis –

Diwali is celebrated in Kartik Chaturdashi and on a Amavasya. In the past, during this time, in our golden days, the summer crop has already been cut and sale has already happened. There is enough crop set aside for winter and cash from the sale of crop has already come in hand. With the upcoming season for wedding and winter months, it is important to clean the fields and get it ready for the next season of crops.

Once the fields that are laying bare, after the cutting of crops, different kinds of “keeth” and “patang” will not have the green leaves to chew on, as a result they mostly get into homes or start living off the trees and potted plants or kitchen gardens. Also due to, rains from retreating monsoons, a very damp and unhealthy levels of humidity is created as result, muddy roads, the puddles of rain water in fields, small shrubs in the houses become good breeding grounds. A noted rise of mosquitoes and different forms of flies & bugs are seen.

In those days, the most economic and balanced way to kill these insects is with organic pesticides that could reach to smallest of nooks and corners. But any water based chemicals would leave further moisture and may not dry completely or reach the tiniest nooks and corner. So, what to do?

The great pandits of Santana Dharma came up with a great idea. How about creating a practice such that –

  • Create a ritual such that every household is involved in pest control.
  • Ensure that people do not only practice it but enjoy it too
  • Helps the community come together
  • Sets the tone of winter and upcoming months of hard work

How about a celebration around food for health & fireworks for pest control?

So, why fireworks at all? The major constituent of firework is Gunpowder which in turn comprises of Saltpetre (Potassium Nitrate), Sulfur & Charcoal. While the Sulfur & Charcoal act as fuel to prolong the combustion, it is actually the Saltpetre which gives the characteristic purple flame due to which Fireworks are used not only for military but aesthetic (celebratory) purposes as well. Dr. Gustav Opport, a German indologist confirms that Indians had knowledge of gunpowder and also how to infuse them with pest control chemicals, so that the a major problem could be solved effortlessly.

We also know that the left over grass in fields are burnt to prepare the field. In those days, this too was done during the same time, because Sanatan Dharmis knew crop rotation. It is today that we see due to commercialization this too has been pushed to later time of the year, which leads to pollution.

So, henceforth when you burn a cracker, look for healthier options that really benefits the climate. Happy Celebrations….

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