Durban is the place to be this Diwali!!
Hindus across the world today will celebrate the festival of lights, Diwali/Deepavali.
The festival of Diwali is to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Light represents knowledge, so the light represented in Diwali signifies knowledge over ignorance. The day is also marked with an array of sweetmeats that are exchanged with neighbors, friends and family in a spirit of community and celebration of the new year ahead.
Durban is the city with the largest population of Indians outside India, so Diwali is an integral piece of it’s rich culture and heritage. Food, festivities, family, friends and fireworks make up the celebrations of this auspicious occasion.
However, the uproar over fireworks, big bangs and loud noise has caused a stir amongst many communities recently. So, we have decided to give you a few helpful tips for you and your pets during the Diwali fireworks.
Before you begin lighting your Diwali Fireworks, make sure you have:
• A bucket of water or hose. Water is important for cooling off spent sparklers, fully extinguishing fireworks, and in case of fire.
• A clear, flat area away from houses, spectators, leaves, and flammable materials.
• Closed-toed shoes.
• Safety glasses for the person igniting the fireworks.
• While many consider sparklers to be safe, it’s important to remember that you are, in fact, playing with fire: Sparklers can burn at more than 1,000 degrees F, and caused an many inures.
• Don’t allow children under the age of 12 to handle sparklers.
• Show older children how to hold sparklers at arm’s length, and don’t let them run with or wave the sparklers.
• Stand at least six feet away from another person while using sparklers.
• To hand a sparkler to another person, give him or her an unlit sparkler and then light it.
• Don’t hold a child in your arms while holding a sparkler.
• Drop spent sparklers into a bucket of water.
Other Fireworks Tips
• Always read and follow the directions.
• Never relight a failed firework — wait 20 minutes before placing it in a bucket of water.
• Onlookers must keep a safe distance from the person igniting the fireworks.
• Children should not play with or ignite fireworks.
Here are some tips to help keep your dog calm, making for an easier holiday for both of you.
Arrange to have your dog in a place where there won’t be loud fireworks displays — a friend’s or relative’s home.
If you cannot take your dog to a place away from fireworks, then have a travel kennel at home for her to feel safe in. If you’re not going to be home, have a friend or sitter there to keep your dog company and take her out to relieve herself every four hours.
If you do find it necessary to use medication to calm your dog during the fireworks, remember that you must introduce it at the right time, conditioning your dog to understand that the medication is there to bring them to a calm state.
This means that you must bring your dog to that calm state first, then introduce the medication — before the fireworks and the anxiety begin. If she is already at an anxiety level of 8 or 9, then her mental state will overrule the medication.
If you are going to be with your dog during the fireworks, sending the calming message that they are nothing to worry about will also help him to relax. Remember, though, while humans communicate with words, dogs communicate with energy, and will look to their pack leader for clues on how they should behave. If you’re not making a big deal or showing excitement about the fireworks, then he will learn to be less concerned as well.
When the loud bangs of Diwali are over, your dog will be grateful to you for having made it a less stressful experience.
Most importantly, let us celebrate this day with tolerance and respect for both humans and animals.