Diwali, the festival of light, is a Hindu festival that falls on the 15th day of Kartika, the holiest month in the Hindu calendar. It marks the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night between mid-October and mid-November. It is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism.
This year, Diwali falls on Thursday, October 19th, 2017.
In preparation of this evening, people take the time to clean their homes, dress up in their finest clothes, and light up diyas (lamps and candles) in their homes, around temples, and many other buildings in their communities. People participate in family puja (prayers) to Lakshmi – goddess of fertility and prosperity. After puja, fireworks, family feasts, and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends, follow.
With the Hindu population of the lower mainland, there are many events to mark Diwali.
Diwali Downtown Surrey is the festival’s main event and a key attraction for festival sponsors, drawing thousands of attendees from all demographics for a South Asian cultural extravaganza. Diwali Downtown brings together the best of contemporary and classical Indian culture for the entire family. This year’s event will include over fifteen unique music and dance performances, an Indian style bazaar (marketplace) featuring South Asian crafts and food. This event will be held at the Surrey City Hall on October 1st from 3:00pm-6:00pm.
Diwali at the Vancouver Public Library celebrates sights and sounds of Diwali at an exciting music and dance performance. This event will feature colourful, fast-paced Indian dance performances to celebrate. This event will take place on October 5th from 12:30pm-1:30pm.
Food is a huge part of the Diwali holiday. A Diwali Fest Cooking Class will take place on October 8th from 12:00-2:00pm. You can get into the Diwali spirit through some exciting and tasty cooking classes, for small fee, to take place in the professional community kitchen at the Roundhouse. You will learn how to make delicious traditional Indian dishes through a cooking demonstration, tasting and recipes.
Diwali Downtown will take place October 14th, 3:00-7:00pm for it’s 14th Annual Celebration of the Festival of Lights. This event will feature music and dance performances by local artists, the Rangoli room – an opportunity to help create a room sized mosaic artwork, a Sari-Wrapping workshop and a fashion show.
Finally, the Rangoli Painting Workshop will wrap up the festival on October 17, from 6:30-8:00pm.
Let the lights of Diwali illuminate the years ahead. Happy Diwali.