"Festive Vibes on Diwali Eve"

Hyderabad: Hyderabad was in high spirits on Saturday as residents celebrated the run-up to Diwali by decorating their residences, shops and establishments with lamps, and the sound of firecrackers renting the air.

The festival also holds significance for the business community, who perform Lakshmi Puja on the occasion, replacing their old accounting books and starting fresh ledgers, in anticipation of a high-earning year.

A common theme among residents was their insistence on buying Indian-made earthen lamps.

The city also witnessed heavy incomings as natives returned home to spend the festive weekend with their families.

Political campaigns also heated up as leaders took the occasion to address larger gatherings and greet members of their constituencies.

Markets, as usual, were brimming with crowds, as people lined up to buy traditional toys, puffed rice and sweets, all of which are used for prayers and decorations. People queued up at sweets shops, with one instance being the long crowds at shops on the Mahankali Temple Road, which has the presence of ‘Donthulu (earthen toys)’ shops.

Mohammed Riyaz Khan, of Kohinoor House, a wholesaler at Begumbazaar, said: "Dry fruits are distributed during the festival. Mostly, business establishments pick up stocks in bulk, package them in the fancy boxes and gift them."

The trend of ‘staycation’ also reported a marked rise in the city, as families get together at a common location to celebrate festivities in a relaxed manner.

Parag Shah, GM of Mercure Hotel, said: "Most of the cities, like Bengaluru, Pune, Vizag, Vijayawada and Mumbai, have been hotspots for staycations so far. Many families want to explore the city as well as want a relaxed holiday. Staycation is a new trend which is going around after the ease of (Covid-19) restrictions. We have made sure the guests have best of celebrations at same time they are totally relaxed."-

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