The new moon has a special significance in October (and no, it has nothing to do with Vampires). It marks the date of the cultural festival known as Diwali. Observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, Diwali is a fall festival that celebrates ‘good over evil.’
In traditional celebrations, the triumph of good is portrayed through the lightening of lamps and candles.
The new moon is the darkest day of the month. In a natural setting, void of electrical lights, the candles represent a defeat of the darkness that exists during the absence of the moon.
Like Thanksgiving, Diwali is traditionally a family occasion, with activities organized around the family unit. But it is also celebrated with community events and decorations.
The slogan for Vancouver’s publicly organized Diwali celebrations is “Light your Spirit.” There are five major events put on by Vancouver Celebrates Diwali. They run from October 15th to the 23rd. Here is a brief summary of the planned festivities:
“Dance All Sorts Diwali Style” (2:00 pm)
-The festival will begin with a performance by Bageshree Vaze, a contemporary kathak dancer, who will preform at the Roundhouse Theatre in Yaletown. Tickets at the door.
“Diwali Bright Lights” (4:30 pm)
-This night is dedicated to emerging South Asian artists in the Vancouver community. It will include classical Indian music and a variety of dance groups, including the ever-popular Bollywood style. The event will take place at the Heritage Hall on Main Street. This is a free event.
“Chai House on Main Street”
-This is an upscaled version of the earlier event. The headline performer will be Grammy winner Chin Injeti. Tickets are $10.
“Diwali Downtown” (12:00 pm)
This is a family event to close out the public festival. It runs from noon till 6:00 pm at the Roundhouse in Yaletown. There will be a variety of musical acts, dance teams, craft workshops and traditional Indian food. Tickets for this final event are by donation.
Festival of Lights