From October 17th to 22nd, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America celebrated Diwali with a series of traditional events and rituals. The festivities attracted devotees and visitors from across the community interested in observing and participating in traditional religious celebrations.
Diwali welcomes in the New Year for Hindus and celebrates the triumph of good over evil in scriptural events. For many visitors, the most popular attraction of the festivities was the Annakut festival, where hundreds of different traditional Indian foods were prepared by devotees and offered to the Mandir’s sacred images. In the evening, the offered dishes were provided to devotees and visitors as prasad.
In addition to the Annakut, children participated in a Kids' Diwali Celebration which included food, games, and activities and ended with a fireworks display.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s commitment to preserving the Hindu cultural and religious practices drives the richness of the Diwali celebrations and provides a space for future generations to learn Hindu history, practices, and principles. By involving youth in the preparation and execution of the celebrations, BAPS Mandirs also provide a forum for young people to learn and lead the community in cultural preservation and practice.