With Halloween only a few days away, I was thinking, "Boo hoo! I'm missing another Canadian holiday. I won't see any trick-or-treaters this year."
It turns out Bhutan has a rather analogous tradition! On the eve of Yama Dwitiya, the last day of the Hindu Diwali festival, children go door-to-door carrying a plate of uncooked rice and flower petals. When you open the door, they burst into a song rousing and rowdy enough to put a Nova Scotia drinking song to shame.
You then place five or ten ngultrum on the plate and they thank you by joyously showering your head with a handful of the rice/petal mixture. Later, after many wishes of "Happy Diwali!" they go to the next house.
Yama Dwitiya is a celebration of the special relationship between sisters and brothers so I am concluding this entry with a special message for the two best guys I know, the rice and the flower petals of my life, my two big bros:
Hello and hello! It is one in the morning now and pouring rain but the sound rain normally makes is lost in the drum beats and loud singing of the adult Diwali revellers across the street. I wish you were here so we could walk over together, get soaked on the way, then join in the dancing. At the same time, I'm also proud of you both for being where you are and working so hard in your respective challenging programs. You are both amazing. Also, please note that on Diwali brothers give their sisters presents.