The first celebration of the Hindu festival Diwali, took place at Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz on Saturday, Nov. 2. Open to all, the event drew from the entire region. With tiny lights lining the walkway into the Reading Garden, 500 guests were welcomed with music, food and vivid artwork. Even the unseasonably warm weather cooperated to make it an event for the entire community, with entertainment inside and out.
Diwali, festival of lights, celebrates the rich culture, heritage and diversity of India. It symbolizes new beginnings and observers mark the occasion by lighting lamps, candles and fireworks to show “victory over evil…light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.”
The Diwali celebration epitomizes what libraries strive to bring to communities — education, exposure to the new, celebration of diversity, encouraging and rewarding curiosity for every resident.