Diwali, Celebrate With Us

Come join us as we celebrate Diwali together!

Diwali is celebrated by Indians, opens a new window worldwide and is perhaps one of the most festive and beautiful times of the year. Also known as Divali or Deepavali, it is a grand “festival of lights” centered around celebrating the triumph of light over dark, new beginnings and the blessings of victory, freedom and enlightenment.

In most of India, Diwali is a five-day celebration that peaks on the third day with its biggest celebrations. Elsewhere, such as throughout the United States, usually, only one main day is celebrated. That main day is marked by the arrival of the new moon in the month of Kartik, which falls within October/November. As per the Hindu calendar, this day is called “Krishna Chaturdashi.” The boisterous fervor of Diwali is manifested in illuminated public places and homes lit with earthen “diyas,” candles and decorative lighting.

A common means of celebrating Diwali is to throw a Diwali party, where friends and family gather to honor and enjoy this day. Perhaps as old as the tradition of celebrating Diwali is the ritual of offering sweets and gifts to families and friends. A common scene synonymous with Diwali is that of children and adults burning firecrackers and sparklers. Family is a central theme of Diwali, and multiple days of India’s five-day celebration are centered around honoring family dynamics, such as husband and wife bonds on the fourth day and brother and sister bonds on the fifth.

This year, Diwali begins on October 22. We'll be celebrating starting October 15 through the end of the month with a series of music and dance performances. Come join us at a library near you!

Featured Performances

The Alaya Project - A Diwali Celebration
The Alaya Project is the essential bridge between the intricate Carnatic style of Indian classical music and contemporary jazz and funk. Born in the cultural bastion of Oakland, California, The Alaya Project explores new textures and perspectives built over two decades of friendship, dialogue and musical immersion across genres and continents. The driving hybrid kit grooves of Indian percussionist and drummer, Rohan Krishnamurthy, the soulful Ragas and melodies of Prasant Radhakrishnan on saxophone, and the harmonic bedrock of Colin Hogan embody the permanence of a changing soundscape.

Bharatanatyam, Indian Classical Dance
To celebrate Diwali, Pagrav Dance Studio will be bringing us the fun and joy of Bharatanatyam, the Indian Classical Dance. Come join us at San Mateo County Libraries to watch this enjoyable performance by artistic director Purvi Jejurkar. Monica Korde, Belmont Poet Laureate, will read poems, and there will be a poetry and dance duet.