Utah Hindus Ready to Light Up the Season

October 8, 2009

Author: Peggy Fletcher Stack

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune


Retailers, take note: There's an upcoming Hindu holiday that is like Christmas, New Year's, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July rolled into one.

It's Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, which Utah Hindus will celebrate Oct. 16 at the Sri Ganesha Temple in South Jordan.

That means scores of Indian Americans will be caught up in a frenzy of shopping, buying new clothes, Asian delicacies and plenty of fireworks. They deep-clean their houses from top to bottom, then decorate the porch with fragrant flower and mango leaf garlands and special fabrics marked with huge Rangoli designs to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

Diwali commemorates the triumph of Lord Krishna over the demon who personifies all of life's ills, explains Indra Neelameggham, a leader among the state's Hindus. On a practical level, it signifies the end of ignorance and heralds the coming of prosperity and joy into everyone's lives.