Celebrating Diwali: A Photo Essay
Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time for celebrations and though the aftermath of hurricane Sandy did dampen spirits, the festival was still widely marked as a new beginning. Siliconeer presents glimpses.
(Above): Devotees lighted diyas (lamps) to mark Diwali at the Fremont Hindu Temple in Fremont, Calif. [Siliconeer]
President Obama Observes Diwali
(Right): U.S. President Barack Obama
Today, here at home and across the globe, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists will celebrate the holiday of Diwali – the festival of lights. Diwali is a time for gathering with family and friends, often marked with good food and dancing. It is also a time for prayer and reflection about those less fortunate. It is a testament to the compassion of these communities that so many of them have helped those that have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Many who observe this holiday will light the Diya, or lamp, which symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. As that lamp is lit, we should all recommit ourselves to bring light to any place still facing darkness. Earlier this year, we were reminded of the evil that exists in the world when a gunman walked into the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire. In the wake of that horrible tragedy, we saw the resilience of a community that drew strength from their faith and a sense of solidarity with their neighbors, Sikh and non-Sikh alike. We also saw compassion and love, in the heroic actions of the first responders and the outpouring of support from people across the country. Out of a day of sadness, we were reminded that the beauty of America remains our diversity, and our right to religious freedom.
To those celebrating Diwali, I wish you, your families and loved ones Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak.]
(Above): Vice President Joe Biden is presented with a shawl after lighting the candle at the Diwali reception in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Nov. 13. David Lienemann | White House]
(Above): Indian President Pranab Mukherjee receiving greetings from school students on the occasion of Diwali, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, Nov. 13. [Press Information Bureau]
(Above): Invocation prayer by Venkatacharyulu Kumanduri, priest at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Maryland, at the Diwali celebrations, Nov. 17 at the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. [Indian Embassy washington, D.C.]
(Above): Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao (2nd from left) and Sudhakar Rao (2nd from right) with members of the community at the Diwali celebrations, Nov. 17, at the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. [Indian Embassy washington, D.C.]
(Above): A grand display of fifty-six varieties of food, Annakut, on the occasion of Diwali, at BayVP Temple in Milpitas, Calif. [Rasesh Parikh]
(Above): A Rangoli with Diyas placed all around by devotees at the Fremont Hindu Temple. [Siliconeer]
(Above): Classical dances were part of the Diwali celebration at the San Francisco Meditation Center.
(Above): Children and adults celebrating Diwali with sparkles at the Fremont Hindu Temple. [Siliconeer]