Source: North Jersey News
On November 3, 2002 North Jersey News reported that "Diwali, or Deepavali as it's also called, is the Hindu festival of lights marking the new year. The Hindu calendar is based on the movement of the moon, and each year Diwali lands on a different day on the American calendar, but always around the harvest time in India. This year Diwali falls on Nov. 4. During the monthlong celebration leading up to Diwali, which signifies the renewal of life, observers exchange gifts, light candles, and dine on sumptuous foods such as samosas and mitha - a sweet prepared with mango, creamy cheese, dried figs, and seasoned with cardamom. Roughly 40 people gathered in the museum's atrium [at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City] to watch time-honored Indian dances, and make their own rangoli -artwork made from dyed sand, rice, and various beans. 'I came because I wanted to show my daughter some of the culture,' said Azra Abdulla, a native of Bombay who now lives in Berkeley Heights. 'Diwali was a big part of my life back home.'"