Lanterns and Aakash Kandils form an essential part of Diwali celebrations across Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, Diwali is celebrated in a way that is much different from the way it is done in Northern India. Aakash kandil is a type of lantern that can be bought readymade or can be made at home. Most of the people love making them at home. People hang lanterns and kandils outside their house to celebrate the victory of Lord Krishna after killing the demon. They also decorate their house with rangoli, and perform Lakshmi Worship.
During Diwali, guests are served with lip-smacking snacks like chakli, chivda, anarse, shaker-pale karanji, kadaboli, chirote, shev, etc. Decades ago, these lanterns were made with cloth but now cloth has been replaced by paper. The paper lanterns are lighter in weight and less expensive as compared to cloth one. Another attractive thing about paper lanterns is that they can be decorated in a variety of designs and colors. Though cloth lanterns could be designed equally beautifully, but one has to take less pain for making paper lanterns as a good variety of colored papers in different designs are available.
Paper lanterns can be made using sticks, paper and gum. It’s as easy. You can even fin d several demonstration videos online to make your personalized Aakash Kandil. Now these lanterns have been further modified and called Chinese lanterns. These look similar to Chinese’s lamps, you can make them in variety of shapes like oval, circular, cuboids, rectangular with tassels of papers, squared shape, etc. There is a provision of keeping a candle or diya inside the lantern that makes it glow. You can even choose to buy those that use light or small colorful bulbs in it. These lanterns can be used inside or outside the house. The main purpose of using them is to remove darkness and gloominess from one’s life and replace it with light, hope and happiness.
There are different types of Aakash Kandils that can be seen now in the market, from kandil containing single lantern to the decorative flickering lantern to the multicolored beaded lantern to the attractive tissue lantern to printed hexagonal lanterns. These lanterns are so popular that now this concept is used to make attractive table lamps or lanterns for decorating living and dining areas.