Curated By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: November 13, 2023, 11:29 IST
New York, United States of America (USA)
The Empire State Building in New York City lit up in orange hues as the American capital celebrated Diwali. The Bhakti Center, the oldest Hindu temple in Manhattan, held a large celebration which New York City mayor Eric Adams and deputy commissioner of International Affairs Dilip Chauhan attended. More than 1,500 devotees joined the celebrations at the Bhakti Center.
New York City also observes Diwali as a school holiday. A notification declaring the Festival of Lights as a school holiday was published by the mayor in June.
The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut coordinated with the authorities of the Empire State Building to illuminate the building to observe the Diwali festival.
Shubh #Diwali, New York City!The Hindu Festival of Lights celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. May those principles fuel our entire city in the coming year. pic.twitter.com/093im17diy
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) November 12, 2023
“Happy Diwali! It was a beautiful experience here, and I welcome anyone not only during Diwali but any time of the year. Come here and renew your energy,” Adams said while speaking to the news agency ANI.
“(It is) important to spread our light throughout the entire globe. Not only on Diwali but all the time,” he further added.
Our Five Borough Diwali Tour has brought us to Bhakti Center in Manhattan, the Hare Krishna Center in Brooklyn, and the Sree Ram Mandir on Staten Island — but, more importantly, it’s brought the light to outshine the darkness. Shubh #Diwali! pic.twitter.com/xZQg4t8Txf— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) November 13, 2023
The American community residing in India and members of the US embassy also celebrated Diwali with US ambassador to India Eric Garcetti. The members celebrated with festive lights, sweets, and rangoli.
Delighted to celebrate #Diwali with dance, food and music with my colleagues for the first time here in India! At this auspicious time, may the festival of light bring you happiness and prosperity in the new year! शुभ दीपावली! https://t.co/gY9RmR8Paf— U.S. Ambassador Eric Garcetti (@USAmbIndia) November 12, 2023
Members of the community were seen celebrating the festival in Indian attire, making rangolis and decorating the embassy on the auspicious occasion of Diwali.
“Thank you to the entire US Embassy community here in New Delhi. You make life full of light every single day. We can’t wait to celebrate and bring the light in through singing and dancing,” Garcetti said.
The US vice president Kamala Harris also celebrated Diwali and hosted a Diwali party with second gentleman and husband Doug Emhoff. New York state senator Kevin Thomas also joined the celebrations.
“We celebrate Diwali at a time when there is a lot happening in the world. And I think it’s important that as we celebrate Diwali, which is about celebrating the light we understand, it is always the context of understanding…and there is certainly a difficult moment we are facing…in particular the reports coming out of Israel and Gaza and I know for all of us it’s devastating,” Harris said.
(with inputs from ANI)