Because Diwali is the only occasion you can indulge in high-decibel crackers and smoke-spewing fireworks. And because the only way you can prove your affluence is by setting off a string of crackers each making a lakh or so pops right at midnight! And don't forget to 'casually' mention that your friend (illegally of course) brought in all your fireworks straight from Sivakasi (that's vaguely somewhere south of the Vindhyas, right?)
In India air pollution is the fifth leading cause of death. Over 620,000 deaths occur nationwide due to air pollution-related diseases each year. Ambient noise levels during Diwali reach unprecedented levels. But since when did we start to place pollution or the environment over booming crackers?
An adult should always supervise the use of fireworks by children.
Check the area before igniting fireworks to ensure that all inflammable and combustible materials are removed.
Follow all safety precautions issued with the fireworks.
Ensure that your children don't engage in dangerous pranks such as throwing lighted crackers or sparklers at others, or try to make fireworks themselves.
Never use fireworks inside a vehicle
Never ignite fireworks while holding them. Put them down, then ignite them and walk away.
Wear close-fitting clothes of thick material instead of loose or flowing garments.
Flying fireworks - rockets, missiles, etc. - should always be lighted in open grounds pointing straight up.
Firecrackers, bombs and flowerpots should not be lighted holding them. It is always safer to light them from the side without bending over them.
Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby to extinguish any incipient fire.
Keep burn ointments handy
Use a candle or an agarbathi to ignite fireworks. They burn without an open flame and provide a greater and safer distance between your hands and the fireworks.
It is said that when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, the people were overjoyed to see him along with Sita and Lakshman. Since it was a no moon night, people lit up candles and diyas along Lord Rama's path.
Once he reached his abode, there was also dazzling display of fireworks which lit up the night sky and left everyone mesmerized. Everybody sang, and danced in celebration and welcomed their king with open arms and hearts. Since then, each year that day came to be celebrated as Diwali, and the Diwali Fireworks became its most conspicuous feature.
Fireworks come in different varieties from the delightfully visual ones to the ear deafening noisy ones.
Tradition says that the illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity.
Another possible reason and a more scientific one for lighting firecrackers is that the fumes produced by them kill insects and mosquitoes found aplenty after the rains.
Though the dazzling fireworks add to the enthusiasm and fervor of the spirit of Diwali, there also exists a group of anti-cracker campaigners.
Diwali symbolizing the triumph of the good over evil continues to be catholic in spirit and celebrated throughout the country. Firecrackers add to the festivities and as the rows of lamps glow one can hear the crackers go off and see the sparklers being waved by children and adults alike.