USA: New York City’s WTC lights up first time for Diwali celebration

Published on : Friday, November 5, 2021

India’s festival of light, Diwali is truly the celebration of light over darkness, good over evil, and more than 1 billion Hindus worldwide are observing it Thursday by lighting candles, setting off fireworks and exchanging gifts with friends and family.

This year for the first time, the New York City’s World Trade Center has been lit with a digital mural in celebration of the holiday, organized by the South Asian Engagement Foundation, along with a live-streamed fireworks show on the Hudson River.

Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is part of a five-day celebration that honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

Celebrants light lamps, set off fireworks and gather with friends and family to exchange gifts and enjoy holiday meals together, honouring community and a new year. But in November 2020, Diwali celebrations looked different in the U.S.

It had only been months since March 2020. A lot was still unknown about the future of the pandemic and vaccines weren’t readily available to the public.

It was a disappointing time for some. Potlucks that would usually be around 20 people turned into only a handful of people who had to isolate themselves before attending. Large community gatherings with traditional Indian dances, sweet treats and fashion shows to celebrate had to come to a halt.

This year, in the spirit of light over darkness, people can gather around the World Trade Center to see the digital mural through Thursday.

Steven Fulop, mayor of Jersey City said that as their country and the world continues to battle the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Diwali celebration of unity, peace and harmony provides the perfect tone for working together and healing during these tough times.

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