Indian festival of lights to be held at MAC

by Jackson Latta

PRESTONSBURG – An Indian festival of lights will be held this weekend at the Mountain Arts Center. The Eastern Kentucky Indian Culture Association welcomes the public to attend the upcoming Diwali Festival (The Festival of Lights) on Saturday October 31.

The event, which is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. will take place at the Mountain Arts Center and will feature appetizers and a family photo booth. Entertainment is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.; followed by diner at 8:00 p.m. with lite music and songs to continue after dinner.

The Diwali usually falls in October or November as it is based on the Hindu lunar calendar. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists and is an important celebration of victory of good over evil and light over darkness.

Diyas, small shallow receptacles made of clay that hold purified butter with a cotton wick, are lit to ward off evil and to usher in goodness with light. Followers of each religion go to their respective place of worship to pray and light diyas on this holy night.

There are many legends as to how the Diwali began. One such legend began in northern India, where Hindu’s follow the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita’s return home after fourteen years in exile and also of Lord Rama’s epic battle with the demon king Rawan, whom he defeats. The people of Ayodha, home of Lord Rama, were so excited to hear that their beloved future king was coming home that they lit the way for him and his wife Sita with the diyas.

In Hindu custom, it is common to leave a few lights on in the home all night to ward off evil and welcome the Goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, to come bless the home.

The festival is tied to other legends for the Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists.

For more information, or if you wish to attend, organizers ask that attendees RSVP or call (606) 886-3638.

by Jackson Latta

Reach Jackson Latta at (606) 886-8506

Reach Jackson Latta at (606) 886-8506

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