The nation is gearing up to celebrate Diwali 2020. This year Diwali would be celebrated on the 14th November 2020. One can't help but notice the festive spirit that has taken over the air already. Like each year, shops have put out their best to cash in on the festive season from the staples like fairy lights, earthen diyas (oil lamps), candles, and traditional sweetmeats to special Diwali gift hampers - Diwali has always been a grand affair for the country. New food trends are creating ripples in the market, somewhere in between the ritualistic festive fervor there have been many old food traditions that seem to be evading.
For instance the Khilone during Diwali- The edible sugar crafted into animal shapes, has been an indispensable part of the festival of lights since decades, especially in parts of North India like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana. The edible sugar toys has been one of the big attractions for Diwali especially among kids, who would play with them and feast on these toy animals as part of their Diwali celebrations. But the yummy white crystalline toys are finding it tough to hold its place amidst the extensive range of unique sweet treats that are available in the market now.
Mr. Anil Bansal, Shop owner of Parkash Provisonal Store at Yusuf Sarai, New Delhi who sells these toys every year, "They come only during Diwali. People buy them in small quantities for their family or Laxmi pujas. We get our supplies from Khari Baoli. Each year the sale ranges from 2 to 3 quintals"
So what are these sweet toys and how are they made?
Making these toys is no cakewalk and needs skill and expertise. Sugar and water are first mixed together thoroughly and heated in a large vessel. This crystalline mixture is consistently stirred to attain the desired concentration. When the mixture gets the right viscosity it is carefully poured into the specially animal-shaped moulds made of wood.
Measuring about two inches in height, the sugar toys are mostly white in colour, but in some shops you would also find them in different colours.
The toys which were once a common fixture during Diwali celebrations, are still popularly used for the Laxmi Puja that take place on the day of Diwali, along with kheel, batasha, coconut laddoo and puffed rice.
Batashe wali gali in Lucknow and Mishri bazaar in Kanpur still happens to be some of the biggest makers and suppliers of the Khilone or sugar toys. This Diwali 2017 gobble into these cute animals and make the festivities even more sweeter.
Happy Diwali 2020!
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.