Celebrating Diwali Lookbook
The Paperstarlights journey began at a festival in India in 1995, where we first fell in love with paper star lanterns – with their form, shape, and meaning. The stars were shining out from every doorway and seemed to encapsulate the joy, hospitality and celebration which surrounded us. Several weeks later we were being introduced to the people behind the stars – a small family business who would become our production partners and friends.
The Diwali festival, which falls in the months of October/ November, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and wisdom over ignorance. It’s a joyful celebration of all things light. Plastic and paper lanterns - ‘kandeels’ - and traditional clay oil lamps -‘diyas’ - are illuminated in the doorways of people’s homes, on terraces, in lanes and around temples. Many communities create huge star shaped paper lanterns using bamboo poles which are suspended above communal throughfares. And the sky is filled with fireworks, not just stars.
Diwali is celebrated enthusiastically by the Indian disapora around the world, Here in the UK, one of the largest Diwali celebrations is on the Belgrave Road in Leicester, the home of a large Gujarati community. Major Diwali celebrations also take place worldwide - in Canada, USA, Australia, Fiji and Mauritius to name a few.
Letting off fireworks - ‘bursting crackers’ - is also an integral part of the celebrations, creating a visual display of a more ephemeral nature. The mass explosion of fireworks in narrow alleyways, housing societies, main roads and seafronts is an intense and exhilerating assault on the eyes and ears.
Many people also create ‘Rangoli’ for luck and blessing - intricate designs on the ground using rice, lentils, flower petals, turmeric and other spices. These traditional and beautiful designs are as ephemeral as the bursting of crackers - captured in a more permanent form within the elaborate designs of Paperstarlights.
The main night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November - a time in Northern Europe which seasonally means longer nights, and is also coincidentally associated with lantern parades, firework displays, celebrations of light and other ways of dispelling the darkness.
To shop the Diwali look, think bright oranges, red and yellows. Colours which will shine a light in the darkness and keep the celebrations going well into the night.
To our customers, our stars have come to mean “Love and Light“. It’s not just the care with which each lantern is produced, but the effect that the products have – visually, and emotionally. Our stars bring people together and make people happy, whatever the occasion.
Diwali is a time of joyful festivity - when friends and family get together to eat and celebrate beneath the colourful glow of a traditional display of lanterns. Paperstarlights are inspired by these traditional Diwali lanterns. Whilst ‘Kandeels’ are often made from thinner paper and designed for short term use, ours are made from good quality heavier weight paper and with careful handling should last for many years.
As the nights get longer and winter approaches, we meet the darkness with a celebration of light - we greet the gloaming with a show of light, a burst of festivity - and a bright shining star.
And finally – here are some Diwali greetings:
May this Diwali your life be as colourful and bright as the lights of Diwali. Joy and gaiety surround you and your family forever. Happy Diwali!
May the light of the diyas guide you toward the way of wealth and prosperity. Happy Diwali!
May these illuminating Diwali lights surround you and your loved ones with happiness and positivity. Happy Deepawali!
May the Diwali lights brighten your life and Rangoli add more colours to it. Have a blessed Diwali!