Do you remember the old days when earthen lamps filled with mustard oil were lit as Diwali decorations? It was quite a ritual and it brought the entire family together. Some painted the earthen vessels. Some rolled the cotton wicks. Some filled the vessels with mustard oil. And then everyone got together to light the lamps. How pretty they looked!
Ever since these environmental-friendly lamps were replaced by paraffin and foil imitations or worse still, those LED monstrosities, the old-world charm of earthen mustard oil lamps has, sadly, faded.
There was a powerful rationale underlying the traditional mustard oil lamps. The smoke from these lamps had a purifying effect on the surrounding air. This smoke had no polluting effect – on the contrary, it had a pleasant smoky aroma that acted as a deodorizer in addition to keeping mosquitoes and other insects away.
Also remember that Diwali marks a change of season… the transition to the winter months. As such, the smoke from mustard oil lamps helped in preventing the outbreak of disease and also kept germ-carrying pests away from the house. That’s ancient Indian wisdom for you!
This Diwali, it might be a good idea to return to the charming old tradition of using mustard oil lamps in all their earthy glory. Forget the Made in China twinkling lights and instead, illuminate your home with good old-fashioned Made in India mustard oil lamps.