Like I’ve written in previous posts, San Antonio is so rich in culture, there would always be an event. Of course, the Indian culture needs to be parts of such important cultural city. The mayor event San Antonio co-hosts with the mission of Diwali is the “Festival of Lights”. It started as a single festival night but it has become a popular event that is annually hosted in the city because it is the mayor Indian culture event.
This tradition features traditional Indian dance, food, entertainment and booth selling goods that come from different parts of India. It is an authentic celebration with handmade attire, Indian dishes, most important dancing, and the ceremonial lightning of candles which are later on floated in the water (called diyas) representing the diverse states of India and of course fireworks. This festival of Diwali comes from the New Year’s Eve and it represents the victory of good over the evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. It is a well-planned celebration; every detail is done to make people really learn about the Indian culture.
Visitors from all over San Antonio come to the event, and even it has been so successful that VIP guests arrive as representatives from the US Department of State and the Indian consular office in Houston. Even in 2019, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson was invited as guest of honor. Awards have been given to this festival, in 2011, the Sister-Cities International Innovation awarded the Arts and Culture Award for excellence.
2009 was the first time this celebration was hosted in San Antonio as a commemoration of the signing of the Sister-City alliance between the City of San Antonio and Chennai in 2008. The event has been growing and growing in number since it started even last year that was done virtually, many viewers around the world were part of it.