Around seven thousand people are expected to attend this year’s Diwali celebration across North Texas.
Diwali is a celebration of the return of Bhagwan Shri Ram from his fourteen-year exile from Ayodhya and the universal values that he believed in and exemplified. During the festival, families come together to celebrate these values, which are unity, respect, and loyalty, while also renewing efforts to live more righteous and spiritual lives.
The pandemic curtailed the five-day festival of lights event last year as most people celebrated the event from their homes.
For Hindus worldwide, Diwali is a large congregation of believers coming together for a fresh start. It is a festive and colorful celebration.
According to Akshay Wani, the event’s lead coordinator in BAPS Shri Swaminarayan temple in Irving, Diwali represents the new year in Hindu scriptures.
“It’s about color, and it’s about having fun,” Wani said.
Many gifts of snacks and food will be placed on the altar inside the temple. The gifts are meant as an offering to God. Later in the evening, the food will be eaten by all temple members as one big family.
Organizers of the event put together a food drive to help a local food pantry. The organizers also held a moment to appreciate frontline workers for their efforts during the pandemic.
A virtual Diwali celebration for all school-aged children will be held on Saturday, November 13. According to organizers, the Kids’ Diwali is an avenue for BAPS to pass the values and understanding of the annual celebration to the younger generation.