NEW DELHI – Around 300 potter families at Kumhar Gram, the country’s largest potter settlement, worked against the clock on Tuesday to create the last sets of diyas or clay lamps that Indians would use to light up their homes during the Diwali festival.
The festival, one of India’s largest Hindu festivals, falls on Wednesday this year, when Indians will decorate their homes and offices with flowers and clay lamps.
“It takes hardly a minute to make a small diya; however, the entire process takes a lot of time,” Harish Kumar, a 35-year old potter, told EFE as he sat surrounded by hundreds of diyas in his workshop.
According to him, the most arduous part was coloring the lamps, which takes between four to five hours, with smaller diyas taking more time.
“After this it is put inside a kiln to bake, which again takes four to five hours,” Kumar said.
Prices of the lamps vary, depending on the size of the diyas, with smaller ones priced at around 10 to 50 rupees ($0.13 to $0.68), while the larger ones sell for 80 to 100 rupees.
According to Kumar, these clay lamps are in demand not only in the domestic market but also in foreign countries with a large Indian diaspora population, especially during the festive season that begins with Dussehra, another major Hindu festival.
Although Diwali, also known as Deepavali, or the festival of lights, is one of India’s largest Hindu festivals, it is often celebrated across communities.