Diwali - The festival of lights - in pics

Oscar Cross
October 22, 2017

In his message, President Kovind said, "On the happy and joyous occasion of Diwali, I extend warm greetings and best wishes to all fellow citizens".

Trump also lit diyas on the occasion and hailed the Indian American community's contribution in different fields.

Diwali, which is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety across India, marks the return Lord Ram, the King of Ayodhya in northern India, after his victory over demon king Ravana in distant Lanka, as well as the culmination of his 14-year-long exile.

Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, or light winning over darkness. A time of peace and prosperity for the New Year, it is a tradition that is held dear by more than one billion Hindus worldwide and more than two million Hindus in the United States. "As a Telugu, we celebrate the festival of lights in honour of Goddess Lakshmi".

In its truest sense, the celebration of Diwali refers to the light of spiritual knowledge dispelling all ignorance about our transcendent reality.


In his first Diwali celebration in the Oval Office of the White House, Trump was accompanied by senior Indian-American members of the administration, including US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, Seema Verma, administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Ajit Pai, Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission and Raj Shah, Principle Deputy Press Secretary. "It is also celebrated by millions of Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains in America, India and around the world". "In so doing, we reaffirm that Indian-Americans and Hindu-Americans are truly cherished, treasured and beloved members of our great American family", Mr. Trump added.

It is called the festival of lights as it brings hope and prosperity and "Righteousness will always overcome darkness and evil".

"Many of my non Hindu friends await for specially prepared candies, considered to be a specialty of ours", said Rajendar. "So we'll forgo the fireworks", he said, amidst laughter from a Washington audience.

It is noteworthy that former President Obama celebrated Diwali at the White House for the first time in 2009, and former First Lady Michelle Obama continued the tradition in 2013.

Attired in colorful and traditional costumes members of the community are little reluctant to allow others to join the festivity. This year, Pence hosted an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House.

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