Varanasi witnesses high demand for flowers on the eve of Diwali

      Ahead of Diwali, the festival of lights, flowers are in high demand in the holy city Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The wholesale flower market of Varanasi is popular in north India. Every year in comparison to other Hindu festivals, sale of flowers is very high particularly during the festival of Diwali and Dhanteras, when people decorate their houses and also buy utensils or jewellery. "Diwali and Dhanteras festivals are considered major festive occasions. And, during these two festivals, sale of flowers is high. Unlike other festivals, Diwali is celebrated by masses," said Pawan Kumar, a flower seller. Flowers like rose and marigold are particularly in high demand, as people wish to ensure that they welcome the Goddess Laxmi, worshipped on the occasion of Diwali, in floral decorated homes. Lord Ganesha, who is revered as the symbol of good omen and wisdom, is also worshipped on this occasion along with Goddess Lakshmi during evening. A large number of people are converging in markets and buying marigold garlands for decorative and worship purposes. "Offering prayers without flowers is useless. Moreover, Diwali and Dhanteras are incomplete without floral garlands. Flowers are a vital part of prayers," said Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal, a buyer.

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