Embodying the “festival of lights”, Hindus celebrate the five days of Diwali with rich cultural traditions and rituals. The numerous divos, the bright colors of rangoli, and the elegant annakut, all encompass the theme of transitioning from darkness to light. Through these festivities, Hindus not only have an opportunity to deepen their connection to their traditional roots, but also to look back and resolve to eradicate negative aspects from their lives in the forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment.
Realizing this importance, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspires devotees to organize programs to celebrate Hindu festivals including Diwali, at all BAPS Mandirs worldwide. This year, hundreds of individuals and families convened at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America to celebrate the auspicious festival of Diwali and its associated celebrations. Arriving in traditional, colorful attire, attendees were also met with an equally colorful ambiance of decorations and a vast assortment of vegetarian food items offered to God. In a beautiful sentiment, Hindus begin their year by offering the food to God and attending a traditional arti before having their first meal together with their families. Visitors offered prayers and expressed their well wishes for the year ahead.