Aurora 2nd Diwali celebration on Oct. 24

Aurora Diwali celebrations last year
Aurora Diwali celebrations last year

AURORA: The Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board of Aurora has organized the second Diwali celebrations at the Waubonsie Valley High School on Saturday, October 24.

The Diwali or the Festival of Lights is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains throughout the world. Diwali, which coincides with the Hindu New Year is about the victory of light over darkness, or the triumph of good over evil.

The festival, free and open to all, is as much a celebration of the diversity of India’s music, dance and cuisine as much as the contribution of Indian Americans, and the community’s assimilation into the City of Aurora. Last year the event was attended by over 4000 people.

The festival of Diwali is several thousands of years old, celebrating the return of a mythological king after a victorious battle over an evil aggressor. To celebrate the return, homes are decorated with earthen lamps (diyas) and intricate colorful designs (Rangoli).

Among those scheduled to attend are Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and members of the city council, elected officials and other dignitaries. A spectacular outdoor fireworks display will be the highlight of the evening. Visitors will be treated to vignettes of India’s traditional and folk cultures as well as the cuisines from different regions of the country. Ethnic jewelry and apparel will also be on sale.

Although its immigration to Aurora and the neighboring suburbs is relatively recent, the Indian American community has contributed significantly to the fields of business, academics, medicine and technology.

Food is a central part of the festivities, but unlike the traditional roast turkey of Christmas, each family prepares its favorite dish. Sweets are exchanged between friends and neighbors and food given to the needy. Shopping is a major activity in Diwali and consumer purchases rival the Christmas shopping season in the West.

Diwali was first celebrated in the White House in 2003 and was given official status by the United States Congress in 2007 by the former president George W. Bush. President Barack Obama became the first president to personally attend Diwali celebrations at the White House in 2009.

For more information Contact: Krishna Bansal/Ashok Eswaran 630-300-0345 / 847-477-1068 or visit web site

Ashok Easwaran

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