On a trip along the backwaters in Kerala in June, we spent the night on a houseboat docked next a village along the waterway near the Punamada Kayal lake.

It was just before dusk and all the homes in the village were lighting oil lamps in the from of their homes as they recited prayers.

Our guide Mahes explained that this was a daily ritual in most Indian homes.

On a recent stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai two weeks ago, we witnessed the same ‘sunset ceremony’ as it is called.

This ritual is performed daily at 6.30pm by hotel staff.

It simply signifies the triumph of light over darkness as nights falls over the land.

Below is a video of the ceremony to the melody of a flute.

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