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BAPS Mandir celebrate Diwali in Madison

Keyur Pandya says, “It symbolizes the evolving from the darkness within: the darkness of anger, judgement, resentment. So getting away from that darkness,...

Locals came together to celebrate the Indian festival, Diwali, today in Madison.

The festival of lights is one of India’s most significant festivals. The culture was brought to life right here in Madison with art, food, games, and a cultural program.

We talked to people who say it’s important to share cultures, and teach locals about festivals around the world. Participants say all are welcome to come and celebrate.

Participants gather in fellowship inside the hall.

We spoke to Keyur Pandya, one of the Diwali co-coordinators this year. He explains that Diwali is much more than a celebration. Pandya adds,  “It symbolizes the evolving from the darkness within: the darkness of anger, judgement, resentment. So, getting away from that darkness, to the light. Light of unity, harmony, peace, sum. That’s the Diwali. It’s basically a time to introspect, sit back and think about ‘What’s my goal?'”

There was a kids Diwali celebration, where the youngest participants learn about the purpose of Diwali, play games, and dance; a cultural celebration; and dinner. 

Participants tell us that Diwali is about unity, and they came together for just that- sharing food, stories, prayers, and laughs. 

Diwali is celebrated to bring in blessings and mark the start of the Hindu New Year, which begins monday.