BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America held Diwali and Annakut celebrations, where candles were lighted, rangolis were made and food was offered to Gods.
“A glittering array of twinkles filled the night as traditional candles were lit by devotees. The ancient tradition of lighting candles, or divos, during Diwali symbolizes the transition from darkness to light,” a press release states. “While the divos lit on Diwali erase physical darkness, the festival’s rich traditions and rituals go deeper – inviting individuals to make efforts in removing darkness in the forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment. Diwali presents a time to reflect and introspect.”
The five days of Diwali are rich in cultural traditions and rituals that symbolize new beginnings and a renewed commitment to family with the bright colors of Rangoli, the lighting of divos and the elaborate variety of vegetarian foods offered to God called an Annakut, all mark a renewal of the good within and the goodwill towards everything around us, the press release adds.
Offering his prayers to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, guru and current spiritual leader of BAPS, prayed for devotees around the world for continued personal, and professional growth in this new year while he also took the occasion of Diwali to remind individuals and families about the importance of leading spiritually-centric lives, grounded in strong values and increased attachment to God.
This year, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America marked the auspicious festival of Diwali and its associated five days of celebrations with an elaborate Annakut, lighted divos, fireworks and even a special children’s Diwali celebration.
In addition to the Annakut, the BAPS’ Diwali celebrations featured spiritual and cultural themed events, which engaged both children and adults, in order to bring positive energy into the New Year.