Archive for October 15th, 2009

President Obama Observes Diwali at the White House

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

President Obama recently took time during a White House function (reestablishing the President’s Advisory Commission and White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders) to take part in lighting the White House Diya in celebration of Diwali.

“And I think it’s fitting that we begin this work in the week leading up to the holiday of Diwali — the festival of lights — when members of some of the world’s greatest faiths celebrate the triumph of good over evil.”

“This coming Saturday, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, here in America and around the world, will celebrate this holiday by lighting Diyas, or lamps, which symbolize the victory of light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. And while this is a time of rejoicing, it’s also a time for reflection, when we remember those who are less fortunate and renew our commitment to reach out to those in need.”

“While the significance of the holiday for each faith varies, all of them mark it by gathering with family members to pray and decorate the house and enjoy delicious food and sweet treats. And in that spirit of celebration and contemplation, I am happy to light the White House Diya, and wish you all a Happy Diwali, and a Saal Mubarak.”

(The White House Diya is lit.) (Applause.)

(October 15) Today we're celebrating . . .  Dhanteras – 5 Days of Diwali: Day 01

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

5 Days of Diwali: Day 01

In many regions of India and other Hindu nations, the first day of Diwali is marked by a holiday called Dhanteras. At sunset, Hindus bathe and offer a diya (lighted oil lamp) to Yama Raj, the Lord of Death, for protection from an untimely death.

Homes and business are decorated with diyas and kandils (colorful paper lanterns). Many also offer a fire ritual for good health and strength in the coming year.


More: Diwali on the Net – Day 01: Dhanteras -The Festival of Wealth

photo credit: via flickr

Did You Know? Countdown to Diwali 2009 (10/15)

Thursday, October 15th, 2009


Did You Know?
Facts, Figures & Folklore
About Hindu Festival of Light

Oct 15 : 02 days to Diwali

Did you know that Hindus believe in one all-powerful Absolute, called Brahman?

Hinduism, however, is classified as a polytheistic faith, however, because aspects of the Brahman are represented by thousands of gods and goddesses, including Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver), Shiva (Destroyer), and Lakshmi (Wealth). In fact, Hindu is said to be a religion of a million and one gods.

Diwali, or the “festival of lights” is celebrated by Hindus across India and the huge Hindu diaspora spread all over the world. This multi-day festival, whose name literally means “row of lighted lamps“, is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm between late October and November. It’s their most important festival in the annual calendar. Join us as we present a new “Did You Know?” fact each day as we countdown to Diwali.

Diwali begins Saturday October 17th, 2009

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(October 15) Today we're celebrating . . .  National Grouch Day

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

National Grouch Day
From our favorite green grouch to the grouch down the street, its the day to remember and tolerate them all.

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