Annual Diwali Celebration in Montgomery County

Members of the Indian American community in Montgomery County celebrated on Oct. 28 Diwali- one of India’s most important national holiday.

Diwali 2013 celebration. Photo courtesy of  Suresh Gupta

Diwali 2013 celebration. Photo courtesy of Suresh Gupta

Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships hosted the county’s Diwali celebration from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Executive Office Building in Rockville.

“It’s the celebration of good over evil taking us from darkness to light and ignorance to knowledge or hate to love,” said Suresh Gupta, event’s organizer.

Known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is observed between mid-October and mid-November. The observance marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. The free community program will feature remarks, a lamp lighting ceremony, and Indian dances.

Gupta said the origin of Diwali comes from a legend where the god Rama defeats the god Ravana in an epic battle, and a moonless night welcomed Rama back to his kingdom. Since then the first day of Diwali always occurs on different dates during a moonless night. Indians celebrate by lighting lamps and candles, cleaning their homes, and shopping for new outfits to wear during celebrations.

The event’s organizer also said it is a special new year celebration for business owners. To many Indians, Diwali honors Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Maryland Delegates Aruna Miller, Sam Arora and Kumar Barve will be in attendance.

Gupta said Diwali is also a day to make new friends.

“It’s a universal message … it’s a day of joy … to bring happiness to everyone,” Gupta said.


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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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