Mayor Joshi announces Edison, N.J. to celebrate first official Diwali

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Mayor-elect of Edison, N.J. Sam Joshi, speaking during an interview with ITV Gold Nov. 15, 2021. Photo ITV Gold

Mayor Sam Joshi of Edison, N.J. announced the city’s first -ever Diwali Festival would be held in Papaianni Park Saturday, October 22, 2022, from 12 pm to 8 pm.

While a large number of groups and organizations in the Indian-American community, observe the festival, this is the first time that Edison Township will host the celebration.

“It’s a historic milestone to celebrate Diwali as a township for the first time,” Mayor Joshi is quoted saying in the press release. “More than one-third of our township celebrates this holiday, but you don’t have to be religious to appreciate the beauty of light overcoming darkness. I invite everyone in our community to come out and celebrate our Township’s rich culture,” he added.

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Attendees can enjoy food, music, fireworks, performances from local groups, and vendors, a press release from the Mayor’s office said.

Special celebrity guests include actor Nikhil Siddhartha, singer and actor Mangli (Satyavathi Rathod), and singers Mauli Dave and Salman Ali.

A Diya lighting ceremony will take place at 6 pm. A schedule of activities will be published on the event’s Facebook page in the days leading up to the event.

The Mayor’s office noted that Diwali is an official holiday in several countries and celebrates the themes of the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and hope over despair. One Hindu Diwali story tells of a prince who a king exiled – but was able to return to his hometown with the help of ordinary people who lit his path with candles. Various regions throughout India focus on different stories – but they all are unified under the theme of good triumphing over evil.

In Jainism, Diwali marks the nirvana, or spiritual awakening, of Lord Mahavira; in Sikhism, it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment. Buddhists in India celebrate Diwali as well, the press release said.

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