The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi released the following Warden Message on 24 October 2008: “The U.S. Embassy and the Consulates wish to alert our American citizen residents and tourists in India to maintain a high level of vigilance during the upcoming Diwali festival. Diwali is considered the most important Indian holiday of the year; markets and transportation centers will be full of shoppers and travelers. You are reminded to consider the level of security present when visiting public places. Recent terrorist attacks in India targeted large crowded urban areas such as shopping centers, trains and train stations, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants; most took place during busy evening hours. Terrorist attacks, however, can occur anytime and anywhere. Although foreigners have not been specific targets of these attacks the risk of being a victim is ever present. You are reminded to be vigilant about security at all times.
“Fireworks, or ‘crackers,’ are a necessary component of Diwali, which is also known as the Festival of Lights. Fireworks can range from simple homemade devices and sparklers to massive explosions, which can be frightening to the unprepared, especially children and pets. Children should be prohibited from playing with fireworks and warned that the streets could be littered with fireworks that have malfunctioned. These fireworks should not be handled due to their unstable nature.”