Despite inflation, Diwali is a time to spend and celebrate
The Indian Festival of Lights, where fireworks, flash bulbs and flames are utilized to celebrate five days of autumn which marks the victory of light over darkness. Diwali it is more popularly known but its true name is Deepavali, which means 'row of lights'.
This 2013, the festival starts on November 3, with a bevy of color, lighting displayes, parties to greet Diwali's arrival. This celebration is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jain communities not only in india, but throughout the world.
One of the central symbols of Diwali is a Swastika assembled from marigolds, which symbolizes peace. The celebrations would be done not just in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, as well as from Ontario, Canada to Melbourne, Australia.
In India though, despite an economic slowdown and high inflation, Diwali has set the tone for increased spending in the sub-continent, as companies and retailers offer special discounts and other benefits for shoppers during the season. In a recent survey, shoppers would increase their normal spending by 25% during this holiday season compared to its average spending for the previous months. Of the spending, 12% goes to groceries, 50% on clothing and 100% increase in lifestyle and fashion accessories.
Inflation though had increased to a seven month high of 6.46% in September alone. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India raised its repo rate by 0.25%, in a move to tame inflation at 7.75% repo rate.