[2016 Deepavali Festival at South Street Seaport. | Photo Source: Facebook/TheAIANY]
Diwali typically is a time for the family to unite and celebrate. However, when you live in a place like New York City—the dwelling place for transports from all over the world who live far away from home—it may seem challenging to find a community within which one can celebrate. Luckily for New Yorkers, the city becomes one sprawling “home” to numerous Diwali events and the biggest challenge may be choosing which one to attend!
The Association of Indians in America, Inc, NY Chapter just held their 29th Deepavali Festival on October 2 from 12p.m. to 7p.m. at the South Street Seaport Pier 17. Every year they have free entry, tons of vendors selling delicious food, desi clothing, and jewelry, along with some corporate booths, a health kiosk, a children’s area with fun activities, and fireworks at night. The festival also holds the Nach Inferno dance contest and includes performances by special guests. This year singer Mickey Singh closed down the area with his performance and audiences fell in love with little Neel Sethi, star of “The Jungle Book.”
Even though the Deepavali Festival at South Street Seaport is known to be one of the largest in the tri-state area, don’t feel down if you missed this festival, there are still tons more events to attend!
1. Diwali in Times Square
Also hailed as one of the largest South Asian events in the USA is Diwali at Times Square hosted by EventGuru Inc. Get this, it’s an eight-hour celebration! In honor of Diwali and the tradition of lighting diyas, or clay lamps, there will be a full-on diya-lighting ceremony shown on a humungous screen along with a showcase of fireworks, albeit it digital. The grandeur of the program doesn’t end there. Years past have proven to also have a bevy of dance performances, fashion shows, and star-studded performances by Bollywood stars! This event takes place on Sunday, October 16, on Times Square, 42-44th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.
2. Diwali on the Hudson
Another favorite amongst city dwellers is Diwali on the Hudson hosted by the Desai Foundation. “Festive” or cocktail attire is encouraged though not mandatory. Desi Galli will cater the event and your admission entails food and an open bar the entire night! What’s great about this event is that you get to party it up and celebrate, but with a good cause. All ticket proceeds go to the Desai Foundation, which “empower women & children through community programs to elevate health and livelihood in the US & India.” This event takes place on Wednesday, October 26 from 7PM – 11PM on the Sunset Terrace on 61 Chelsea Piers. Purchase your tickets here!
3. Asia Society Diwali Family Day
Asia Society Diwali Family Day is another event fun and appropriate event for the entire family. The “annual celebration features Bollywood and Bhangra dance, Indian music, storytelling and the chance to make your own Diyas, Rangolis, and temporary tattoos.” It takes place on Saturday, November 7 from 1PM to 4Pm at Asia Society New York, 725 Park Ave., Upper East Side. The cost of entry is $12; $5 for students, seniors, and children. Visit their website for more details.
4. Rubin Museum of Art’s Diwali Sundays
Are you more in a museum mood? Check out Diwali themed Family Sundays at the Rubin Museum of Art! This is a free event that will be held November 8, 15, and 22 from 1pm to 4PM at the Rubin Museum of Art on 150 W. 17th St., Chelsea. You can expect family workshops all with a Diwali theme.