Find family-friendly ways to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, including a very special night on the Main Quad
Two things about celebrating Diwali are the same no matter where you live or whether you are Hindu, Jain, or Sikh: it is a Festival of Lights, and it commemorates a mythical story of good triumphing over evil.
Diwali’s main festival night — usually, on the third day of a five-day celebration — occurs after the harvest on the darkest night (new moon) of the Hindu month Kartika. In 2021, that puts Diwali on Nov. 4. Since the Gregorian calendar used in the United States and much of the rest of the world is a solar calendar, not a lunar calendar, the date of Diwali differs every year but usually falls during October or November.
Diwali is a joyous holiday, involving candles/lanterns (or diya), traditional floor decorations (or rangoli), ritual housecleaning, homecoming, community, feasting, and fireworks! In cities and countries outside India where Indian communities are living, Diwali is considered a public celebration showcasing India and its culture but open to everyone.
In Champaign-Urbana, the Indian community and their non-Indian friends look forward to the annual Diwali on the Quad celebration organized by the Indian Graduate Students Association. The celebration will be twice as joyous in 2021 since 2020’s event had to be virtual only. This is always a great family occasion with beautiful lights, delicious Indian food, and even a Bollywood DJ!
What: Diwali- The Festival of Lights on the Quad
Where: University of Illinois Main Quad
When: Saturday, Oct. 30, 6-10 p.m.
How much: Event is FREE, food available for purchase (in past years, cash only)
Appropriate for: All ages
Why you should go: The Festival of Lights is finally here! Celebrate Diwali by lighting candles (tea lights) on the Quad and enjoying delicious Indian food for sale. Bring your friends and family for some of the best pictures you can ever take at the Quad.
Other ways to celebrate Diwali with your family (besides setting off fireworks):