Maplewood community celebrates Hindu Festival of Lights

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In honor of South Asia’s cultural and artistic diversity, the township of Maplewood and three local volunteer organizations — SOMA Masala, SOMAsian and SOMA Cross-Cultural Works — hosted the first Diwali Fest NJ at The Woodland in Maplewood on Sunday, Oct. 22.

Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is an annual celebration for more than a billion people of South Asian heritage. To many, Diwali signifies the power of light to triumph over darkness. The occasion is marked with multiple, diverse traditions and celebrations. In Maplewood, Diwali Fest NJ featured live music, dance, demonstrations, crafts and activities for the entire family, as well as vendors of arts, handicrafts, books, and traditional and contemporary South Asian ethnic wear. Diwali Fest NJ also provided visitors the opportunity to enjoy an assortment of foods from dosas, curries and flatbreads to contemporary Indian-Italian fusion cuisine.

Photos by Yael Katzwer