Diwali celebrations light up the city with cultural traditions

Vanessa Qin

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Driving around Cupertino on a late October night provides for two sights: lights, and more lights. These lights are not displayed by families who are too excited for Christmas — they are displays for the Indian festival of Diwali, which is celebrated every on the 15th day of the month of the Kartika in the Hindu calendar.

Diwali is an ancient festival that follows long-held traditions and celebrates the power of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. This festival honors the return of Rama and Sita in the story of Ramayana, showing the defeat of evil. For many families, Diwali is a time of joy and positivity.

Decorative Diwali lights illuminate the night sky in Cupertino. These lights represent lighting the way for Ramayana as he comes back home.

Junior Rohit Khandekar’s family celebrates Diwali with dining, dancing and praying.

Mouse over the images to hear Rohit’s father, Milind Khandekar, and mother, Maneesha Khandekar, explain the various components of their Diwali decorations and celebrations.

While for some families, Diwali is more seriously connected with spirituality and religion, other families choose to celebrate it as a week of fireworks and bonding.

Sophomore Varun Sachdeva does not from come an extremely religious family, but finds celebrating Diwali important because it enables him to keep in touch with his Indian heritage.

“I [celebrate Diwali] mostly for the culture,” Sachdeva said. “It’s something that my parents have always done, so I feel like I should do it too with my parents. It’s good to [maintain] a little bit of culture.”