Monday, November 27, 2023

Diwali, the Festival of Lights

Earlier this month, my fiancĂ© and I celebrated Diwali, the Festival of Lights in Walpole and in Medway. 

Diwali is an important holiday in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, and is celebrated by some Buddhists (1,2). It represents the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Diwali is celebrated over 5 days, typically in late October and November, and the actual dates vary due to the lunar calendar. People celebrate the festival differently based on the region. One common tradition is to light diyas, which are small lamps with oil, on the evening of the new moon to invite the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.

This year, Diwali was from November 10 - 15 (3). The organization Be Inclusive hosted a Diwali Celebration at the Walpole Council On Aging in early November. The evening was filled with performances, activities, vendors, and delicious Indian food from 1947 based in Norwood. Be Inclusive supports inclusive communities, and plans events throughout the year to celebrate and raise awareness of diverse cultures. Keep an eye out on their website for their other upcoming events.

Be Inclusive's Diwali Celebration Organizers and Volunteers

The following weekend, we went to Medway's second annual Diwali Festival, co-hosted by the Medway Cultural Council and Medway Marches. Throughout the night there was music, dancing, henna, vendors, Indian food, and more at Medway High School. Performers included dancers from Desi 2 Step, the Chhandam Institute of Kathak Dance, DFD Academy, and others. It was a fun-filled evening! The Medway Cultural Council and Medway Marches celebrate the arts and different cultures, so stay tuned to their sites to see what else they have going on.

Dance Performance at the Medway Diwali Festival
We enjoyed learning about Diwali and participating in the festivities, and we are looking forward to celebrating Diwali again next year! Read more about Diwali from Britannica, Indiatimes, and National Geographic.