by Shirley L. Ng, AsAmNews Contributor
The township of Edison, New Jersey organized their first Diwali Festival of Lights on Saturday at Papaianni Park.
Mayor Sam Joshi called the festival an “historic milestone,” in an announcement he made earlier this month. One third of the Edison residents celebrate the Diwali holiday, which is a five day festival that originates from India.
The festival included a Diya Lighting Ceremony at 6PM, music and performances at the main stage.
Those that follow the Diwali tradition will light a row of clay lamps called “diyas” that symbolizes inner light that will protect them from spiritual darkness and represents good overcoming evil.
Meelina Singhal, an Edison resident attended the festival with her family. “We light our house with the diyas, candles and decorate our home. We invite our family and friends to our home to serve and exchange food. We pray to god for the prosperity of the family, ” she told AsAmNews. Singhal is from the western region of India and one of the dishes she prepares is “laddoo,” a dessert made of milk, flour and sugar.
There were plenty of food to purchase and vendors selling traditional clothing and accessories to celebrate Diwali. Celebrities that were expected to attend were, Nikhil Siddhartha, Satyavathi Rathod, Mauli Dave and Salman Ali.
Edison schools will be closed on October 24 to observe the Diwali holiday.
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