Many of us think of Halloween, Hannukah, Kwanza, and Christmas when it comes to winter holidays. However, there is another major winter holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world: Diwali. Also known as the festival of lights, Divali lasts five-days and is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Newar Buddhists across the world. A Diwali celebration will take place on Tuesday, October 17, at 11 a.m. in the Lobby of Miller Chapel on the Lebanon Valley College Campus. The Diwali festival coincides with the Hindu New Year. Even though mythical stories about Diwali vary from region to region and within the various religious traditions, they all share something in common: the celebration of Diwali with lights. Lights are a metaphor for the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, right over wrong – ultimately, it is the festive restatement of the Hindu belief that the good ultimately triumphs over evil.
This celebration of Diwali will also include the unveiling of a Hindu sculpture as a part of the College’s effort to create an interfaith chapel. With the support of a grant from the Interfaith Youth Core, the college is working to create space available to students and staff for a variety of religious and spiritual expressions. The celebration will include a variety of Indian finger foods.
The Diwali celebration is free and open to the public. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, call 717-867-6135 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. This event is co-sponsored by the department of Religion and Philosophy and the Office of Spiritual Life, and is partially funded by a grant from the Interfaith Youth Core.