Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, held October to November, associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and marks the beginning of the fiscal year in India. Celebrated across the world, Diwali is the biggest, brightest and most popular event in the Indian calendar.
The word diwali means “row of lighted lamps”, with light symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty and knowledge over ignorance. It’s a time for lighting diyas (an oil lamp used in the Indian subcontinent), laying out colourful rangolis (an art form in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand or flower petals), setting off fireworks, exchanging gifts of sweets and celebrating with dance, music and storytelling.
In the Lower Mainland, Diwali Fest originated in 2004. It has since evolved to become one of the largest Diwali- themed events in the Lower Mainland. The core of Diwali Fest’s mandate is the objective of breaking cultural barriers and encouraging participation from all communities. The celebration and spirit of Diwali is truly universal.
There are a number of events and activities planned throughout the Lower Mainland to celebrate Diwali 2018.
The Vancouver Public Library invites you to celebrate the sights and sounds of Diwali 2018 with an exciting music and dance performance. This event will feature colourful, fast-paced Indian dance performances to celebrate the 15th Annual Diwali Fest.
The Surrey Libraries invites you to celebrate Diwali at the library with a diya decorating craft. You can take home a photo of yourself in front of their Diwali-themed Green Screen. All supplies provided.
The City of Surrey offers ‘Diwali Downtown Surrey’ draws 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.
The City of Maple Ridge will ‘Celebrate the Night’ with a festival and fireworks! A free family-friendly festival will transform Memorial Peace Park into a wonderland of lights, lanterns, artwork, storytelling, pumpkins, crafts, games, food trucks and a popular fireworks finale. This year’s theme of “Light and Shadow” includes a celebration of Diwali with music and dancing.
Of course, there is much more to see and do to celebrate and learn about Diwali 2018 throughout the Lower Mainland. Simply visit the diwalifest webpage and you’ll find much to do during this month of celebration. As the season grows darker, the Diwali lights will brighten the many days we have ahead.