Celebratedenthusiasticallybyall theby sectsofHindus,thefiveday Diwali fiesta is one of the longest festivals. Houses and market places that have been spruced up well in advance, wear a festive look with attractive colourful 'rangoli'. In the evening, Ganpati, Laxmi the giver of wealth and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge would be worshipped with deep reverence. All the places would be lighted up. In the middle of the night a special 'puja' during a highly auspicious period would be performed in privacy. Businessmen would perform 'puja' at their workplace. There would be scintillating fireworks. Various temples spread all over the city, would celebrate Diwali in their own way. But Mahalaxmi Mandir situated at BhatiyaniChoutabetweenJagdishChowk and Gulab Bagh and built by Maharana Shambhusingh about 400 years ago when he returned from a battle, would be throngedbylakhsofdevoteesduringDiwali festival.Builtwithwhitestoneandexquisitive glass work, the temple was given the presentformbyMaharanaJagatsinghand was thenhandedovertothelocalShrimali Samaj as Mahalaxmi is theKuldevi of this community.Therearespecialcelebrations from Dhanteras to Annakoot. Dhanteras began with early morning 'abhishek' and the'poshaks'offeredby thedevoteeswas changed four times and devotees kept coming till midnight. Similarly, on Roop Choudas there was early morning 'pujan' and'aarti'anddresseswerechangedfour times during the day. According to Vijai Shrimali,President,ShrimalTrust,the'darshan' in Sinha Lagna on Diwali midnight is considered to be most auspicious and brings prosperity in the family. On Annakoot, 'prasad' would be prepared in huge quantity, and offered to Mahalaxmi while the doors would be closed. For the next three days, it would be distributed to among devotees. AttheShrinathtempleinNathdwara the five-day long festival is celebrated in a unique way. Right from Dussera started the preparations for Diwali. For Annakoot,'bhatti 'pujan'wasdone,provisionswerecollectedandcookingstarted.Fifteentotwentyartists startedmaking attractive paintings in different colours. At the Shriprabhuji Gaushala inNathuwas,thesingingof'heed' started and the preparation of material such as Teepara and Patia for decorating the cows also began. On Dhanteras, Shriprabhujiwasbeautifullydecoratedand offered Khi chdi as 'bhog'. On Roopchaudas, the cows of Shriprabhuji in the Gaushala were bathed and decoratedwith'mehandi'.OnDiwaliabout150 beautifully decorated cows would be brought to the town. In the afternoon a group of Gwalbals would go round the temple and sing 'heed'.Then there would be Gaukrida in the bazars of Nathdwara. Thousands of devotees including those from Gujarat and Maharastra would congregate to watch the highly fascinating event.Intheevening,the Tilkayat of the Mandir wouldinvitehis favourite NandvanshiGaumatato Goverdhan Puja. At night, there would be 'd a r s h a n ' o f L o r d Krishna's Balswarup. Laxmi Pujan would be performedinShrikrishna Bhandaratnight.Ahighly fascinating ceremony would be performed on Annakoot when about 150 maund of cooked riceandotherfooditems would be placed in the formofasmallmountain as 'bhog' for Shrinathji in Dol Tibari. Later on at midnight a group of Adivasiswouldloottheprasad.Intheafternoon next day therewould beGoverdhan Pujan in the Haveli. In the temples the old traditions are still followed religious but this ancient festival that started in the time of Lord Ram has seen several changes in the way it has been celebrated. In the fast changing scenario of Diwali in Lake City, the scintillating glow of the earthen 'diyas' is being replaced by small electric bulbs of different colours. Due to the diminishing demand of 'diyas', the potters of Kumharwada area of Udaipur who used to get busy weeks in advance of Diwali in making 'diyas' and earthen pitchars, are having a rough time and are on the point of starving. Out of dozens of families of Kumhars, there is only a few engagedinthisprofessionnow.According to experienced potter Lalit Prajapat, the new generation is moving on to other means to earn a living. The cost of the rawmaterials is risingfast.Thesandused in making 'dias' is of a special type and is procured from distant places such as Nathdwara and Vallabhnagar. One tractor costs about Rs. 4000. The price of wood used for baking the pots has also gone up considerably. And a result of all this, the old tradition of using 'diyas' on Diwali is dying fast. There is a sea change in the way people greet each other on the occasion of Diwali. When people lived in small places,theywereabletowishotherseasily. When distances increased greeting cards were used forthe purpose. In some cases they were made at home that showed creativity and individuality. But now even printed greeting cards are going out of fashion. So much so that someshopsatChetakCirclehavestopped selling them. According to a bookseller in Bapu Bazar, there is a big variety of greeting cards on the internet that people send to others on Whatup. They are received instantly Whatsup groups exchange greeting cards. Buying cards from the market and sending them takes more time and money. Moreover, there is a risk of their being delivered late. This Diwali, Udaipurites were able to buy pure sweets through group sharing system. A number of societies were formed in the town. They decided to get sweets made in bulk and supply them cheaperthanthemarketprice.Forexample, the rate per kilo of 'kaju katli' was Rs. 450 as compared to Rs. 600 charged in the market 'Besan chakki' was priced Rs. 230 against market price of 300, 'makhan bada' at the rate of Rs. 250 was cheaper by Rs. 70 and 'doodh besan ke laddu' at 240 were cheaper by Rs. 80. The raw material was bought in bulk at wholesale price. Cooks were engaged at reasonable labour charges. Sweets were preparedunderthesupervisionofsomeexperiencedmembersofthesocieties.Orders from customers were booked about 10 days in advance. Fifty percent of the amount was to be paid in advance. Looking to the adulteration of 'mawa' it was not used in any sweet. Some of the societies decided to use their profit for the benefit poor children by helping them in their education and providing winter clothes. Another changethatis relatedtoaccounting by shopkeepers is the use of computers with the result that the paper made Khatabahi has become obsolete. According theKhatabahi makers inBada Bazar, the quantity of their product has gone down considerably. After the initial investment in the purchase of a computer, its use saves a lot of time, money and energy. Earlier at least one Muneem, accontant, was needed by one firm but nowasinglecomputertrainedpersoncan complete the work in a couple of hours every day and then move on to the next shop. This work is being done mostly on the basis of annual contract. Now in most cases Khatabahi is purchased only for the purpose of performing a ritual on the occasion of Diwali. Inspite of the various changes in the ways of celebration, the festival brings joy and merriment even for those leading a hectic tiresome life.