India is preparing for Diwali and the festival is not only defined by lights, glitter and gold, but also by a shopping extravaganza. Online shoppers are expected to spend the equivalent of $9.2 billion this year, marking a recovery from the coronavirus slump. According to a report by consulting firm Forrester, two thirds of online shoppers are expected to come from tier two cities and below this time around. To round off the e-commerce bonanza, Flipkart and Amazon are both holding online sales events in the lead-up to the festivities.
A popular thing to purchase during the festive season is gold, which is considered a status symbol in India. During Diwali, it is common to worship the goddess Lakshmi, who is seen as a purveyor of wealth. Demand for gold usually rises during the festive season, which is also a popular time for weddings. A YouGov survey showed that 28 percent of urban Indians were planning to purchase gold between August and October 2021.
According to the Washington Post, more than one billion people celebrate Diwali around the globe, mainly on the Indian subcontinent. While interpretations on the story behind the celebration vary, the day is marked by lighting decorative lamps, so-called diyas, creating rangoli pattern with colorful powders and gathering with family.