Festive spirits are high with Diwali season just around the corner. The jovial festival of lights is known to bring people together from all walks of life — regardless of age or religion and this year is no different. As COVID-19 restrictions lessen and small public gatherings become a regular occurrence once again, the preparations for the festival are even brighter to make up for the opportunities that were missed last year.
Fireworks are the life of every Diwali celebration. Lighting up fireworks at the end of the day has been an ancient tradition to ward off evil but has now become a defining symbol of the festival, and creates a bonding experience between friends, families, and communities to become closer.
But, while the unprecedented joy that comes with lighting up fireworks is cherished by all, the hazardous repercussions of it on the environment and other animals dampens the spirit of the festival at large.
As the government imposes restrictions on the use of fireworks keeping in mind the threat it poses to the environment and living beings, it becomes a social responsibility of every individual to adhere to these norms. Promoting creative, eco-friendly ways to celebrate the festival, therefore, becomes integral to retaining the essence of Diwali while being cautious of the environment.
Here are 5 different alternatives to firecrackers you can choose to enjoy an eco-friendly Diwali this year:
- Seed Crackers
Seed crackers are perhaps the most eco-friendly version of regular firecrackers. These crackers, when burnt, burst with a plethora of colourful flowers and fruits instead of releasing harmful smoke into the air or creating deafening noise.
Moreover, the crackers are made up of biodegradable and recycled paper with plant seeds stored inside it, or plantable seed paper, burning which enables one to give back to nature through scattering and sowing these seeds which have a considerable chance to eventually grow into healthy plants and trees.
Seed crackers are also a cost-effective variant, with a box containing two coir pots and seven seed crackers including anaar, chakri, tikli, lakshmi bomb, rocket, sutli bomb, and naagin ladi costing Rs 749.
- Balloon Firecrackers
Balloon firecrackers are simple to make and can be easily DIYed at home. Fill up the balloons with sparkles, biodegradable colour powder, or paper flakes and hang them around the house.
When burst, these balloons will dribble sparkles and colour all around the place, emulating the feeling of a firecracker while remaining an eco-friendly alternative. The cascade of colour will please children and adults alike. The process of filling up the balloons can itself become a fun activity to engage in with your loved ones. It is also an opportunity to let your creativity shine and play with colours.
- Glow Sticks
Glow sticks are readily available in the market and come in all kinds of bright and neon colours. They are durable and last a long time, which makes them easy to reuse and thus, reduce wastage.
Furthermore, the vibrant colours are easily visible even from great distances at night, making glow sticks a very promising alternative to regular sparklers which can be dangerous and result in injuries if not held with caution. Glow sticks can also be used as decoration during the Diwali celebration, making them a multi-purpose item and a must-have during the festive season.
- Drone Light Show
Firework displays are a common sight at celebrations and festivals around the world. But, with the advancements in technology, Drones have become a more digital and futuristic version of fireworks, making them a relatively new but welcome addition to the festival celebrations in India. The drones are also eco-friendly and do not emit any harmful chemicals or lead to noise pollution.
Drone light shows, though expensive, are the most effective in mimicking the experience of a fireworks show without being an environmental hazard. Their twinkling and dazzling lights imitate the feel of a night sky lit up by firecrackers faultlessly. What’s unique about drone light shows is that they also offer the option of being held indoors where a fireworks display is simply not achievable.
- Sky Lanterns
Sky lanterns, or wish lanterns, are traditionally a part of traditional Chinese culture but they also stand as the promising alternative to a firecracker-free Diwali.
The lanterns are shaped like small hot air balloons and are made of paper. Once lit, they rise into the air and dazzle the night sky without emitting any noise. The tradition also calls for people to wish on the lanterns; an auspicious ritual that makes the item a perfect match for a festival like Diwali.
These eco-friendly alternatives, if adopted, will make Diwali this year an even more high-spirited and cheerful event, while remaining safe and socially conscious.