Diwali, a grand five-day Festival of Lights, is a time of jubilation and merriment for millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains all over the world. This festival is a celebration of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. But when is Diwali, you might ask? This radiant festival is typically celebrated between the months of October and November, with the precise date varying each year.
The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali,” which means “rows of lighted lamps.” During this festive time, the sky is lit up with a sea of lamps, and people indulge in exquisite sweets, visit relatives, and share feasts. It’s a particularly popular event for children.
Each religion marks different historical events and stories during Diwali. Hindus commemorate the return of deities Rama and Sita to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile, as well as the day Mother Goddess Durga vanquished a demon called Mahisha. Sikhs celebrate the release of their sixth guru, Hargobind Singh, from prison in 1619, although Sikhs also celebrated this festival before that date. Jains celebrate the moment Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, reached a state of Moksha (nirvana, or eternal bliss).
During this year’s Diwali celebrations, the Ananda Arts dancers, including Parvati Rajamani, Sheba Taneja, and Desiree Bashi, graced the festivities with their classical Indian dance performances, infusing the event with color, vibrancy, art, and creativity. In addition, Hindus worship the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, to usher in blessings for the New Year. Join in the Diwali festivities and revel in the radiance of light and goodness that shines brightly within us all
The dance was performed by