The number of Indians in USA is quite huge. The festival of Diwali is celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar. Diwali is by far the most important Hindu Festival in India. The Indians who reside in the USA also celebrate this festival with equal amount of zeal and enthusiasm. Diwali is also known as the festival of light.
Diwali Celebration in USA
Diwali Festival is celebrated with great pomp and show almost all Indian Communities in United States. Although it is a Hindu festival, its moral is quite universal. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. There are many community groups, schools, Indian organizations, Hindi associations and Indian corporate houses situated in the United States which actively celebrate the festival of Diwali. Some very renowned people like senators, governors and former presidents have wished the Indian Hindu community of the United States a very happy Diwali in the past few years. In fact last year, the current president, Obama also extended his warm Diwali greetings to the Indian community of the US. Public announcements regarding the festival of Diwali have been made several times by many prominent American Citizens.
The month of October or November generally witness the festival of Diwali. During this time of year Indian shops sell traditional Indian attires, idols of Indian deities, special Diwali delicacies and prayer incent sticks. Indian women decorate the palm and wrists of their hand with mehendi. Mehendi is actually henna decoration. Chiffon and silk sarees along with gold jewelry is the traditional Indian wear for this festival. In US people generally light candles, sparkles and lights to decorate their house. Firework displays are also a very common part of Diwali festivities in United States. Indian sweets and other Indian delicacies are cooked in every Indian home in US during the festival of Diwali. Some states have recognized Diwali as a state festival. The state is responsible for organizing some amazing fireworks for the Indian population. Utah is one of the states where Diwali is a recognized state festival.
Diwali 2014 Date: When is Diwali Festival Celebrated?
Public Life of Diwali
Diwali is not a national holiday in the United States but it is a very recognized festival among the Indian residents. Generally you will find that all Indian shops, restaurants and general stores are closed for Diwali celebration during the festival season. In some places the celebration is limited only to the local community but there are also towns where it is one of the major holidays.
Symbolic Meaning of Diwali
The original word used for this festival was Deepawali. Deepawali means “a cluster or row of lights” light here is a reference to diyas. In the United States, Diwali is celebrated by lighting bonfires, lamps and firecrackers. This festival stands for victory of righteousness and defeat of evil. Diwali is basically a five day festival. The first day is Dhanteras, the second day is Choti Diwali or Narakchaturdashi, the third day Diwali, the fourth day is Govardhan Puja and the fifth day is Bhai Duj. People worship God Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali to bring prosperity and wealth into their homes/business.