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Colorful lights and traditions abound at BAPS Diwali celebration in Lilburn

December 2016
Colorful lights and traditions abound at BAPS Diwali celebration in Lilburn

This October, lights and candles were lit, sweets prepared and shared, and warm greetings and well wishes exchanged as millions of Hindus around the world celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali. Diwali presents Hindus around the world with an opportunity to renew the rich traditions of their roots with great fanfare.

In marking the season, volunteers of all ages came together to organize a Diwali celebration at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn, GA on October 30-31, 2016. Colorful intricate designs called rangoli, decorative oil lamps, and annakut offerings of vegetarian food before the sacred images of God filled the atmosphere with a renewed spirit of the festival.

Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival commemorating many historical events including the return of Bhagwan Shri Ram to the kingdom of Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. His return brought about a period of enlightenment within the kingdom and its people. The tradition of self-enlightenment continues today as Diwali presents an opportunity for self-improvement and progress through reflection within.

Children also enjoyed the annual Diwali festival filled with games, activities, and sweet treats. BAPS youths take great measures to organize and conduct this annual event for the younger participants. Hundreds of families experienced the culture and traditions of the auspicious holiday as they offered prayers, well wishes, and resolved to mark the New Year with spiritual enlightenment.

Many relished the familiar atmosphere of Diwali and reminisced their childhood days as they immersed themselves in the beautiful sights, traditional songs, and delicious cuisine of the holiday. Congressman Rob Woodall, who represents the 7th district of Georgia, was present at the Diwali celebrations and eloquently described the essence of Diwali as the celebration of good over evil and light over darkness.

The festivities brought devotees together to serve a common purpose, develop spiritually, and please their guru His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and inspirer, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspired the celebration of Hindu festivals at BAPS centers worldwide to keep the rich traditions and culture of India alive with emphasis on the true historic and spiritual purpose of Hindu festivals.

Photo Gallery:
Kids’ Diwali Celebration 2016, Atlanta, GA, USA
23 Oct 2016

Diwali & Annakut Celebration 2016, Atlanta, GA, USA
29 Oct 2016 - 31 Oct 2016

[The article above is a Website Bonus Feature, appearing only on the website for December 2016, not in the December print/digital issues.]

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