The India Center Celebrates Diwali

Diwali Celebration

Diwali, or the festival of lights, is celebrated to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It is celebrated by various faiths, including most Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists around the world, over a period of 1 to 5 days.  Many families decorate their homes and places of worship with clay lamps to bring light into the darkness.

The India Center at UCF collaborated with the Asian Cultural Association, the Orange County Asian Committee, FusionFest and Orange County Mayor Demings to present “Diwali: The Festival of Lights Celebration” on November 4, 2021 in downtown Orlando. With musicians, singers and dancers, the event became a center of light that night at the stage outside the Orange County Administration Building. Speeches were given by the India Center’s Leila Chacko, the Asian Cultural Association’s founder and Executive Director Jasbir Mehta, and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

Dance and vocal performances were the main highlights of the event. A rangoli, an elaborate design made of flower petals, adorned the stage.  As the sun slowly set, beautiful tea lights surrounding the stage were on full display. The formal ceremony concluded with the lighting of a large diya, or Indian oil lamp, by Jasbir Mehta and Mayor Demings, emphasizing the importance of unity and diversity held here in Orange County.  Laddus, traditional Diwali sweets made from lentil flour, were passed out to all the guests at the end of the ceremony.  Though this concluded the main event, most everyone stayed to talk with family and friends, take pictures, and celebrate the day.

Special thanks to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings for hosting and celebrating the first Orange County Diwali with the India Center. You can watch a replay of the event here.

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