‘Diwali at Times Square 2016,’ the annual celebration of India’s most famous festival lit up the streets of New York City with colors and lights, showcasing to the world of India’s rich and diverse culture. Rhythmic dances from across India, Bollywood music, ethnic Indian cuisine and performances by leading stars were a treat not only to the participants who filled the iconic Times Square, but to the onlooker and the entire world. An interactive diya lighting ceremony, on the largest Times Square digital screen, brightened the ambience of the event and the hearts of the audience.
Diwali, the festival of lights, symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The program also featured a spectacular digital diya lighting on the Times Square screens followed by a special message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the launch of the U.S. Postal Service commemorative Diwali stamp.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Indian Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin, Consul General Riva Ganguly Das and former Indian representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri, were some of the guests who were in attendance. A host of appearances and performances by television actors kept the large crowds entertained, which included Shabbir Ahluwalia and Sriti Jha of “Kumkum Bhagya” fame, “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa” 2016 winner Kushal Paul, and singers Jyotica Tangri and Arjun. The event also saw performances by young artists, differently-abled kids, and regional cultural dance performances from various states of India.
‘Diwali at Times Square’ is not just a grand celebration of the festival of lights but also a beautiful display of our community and its roots,” said Neeta Bhasin, CEO of Event Guru. “Our main focus this year was to give a platform to young Indian talent, both from India and the U.S., as they represent our future and will carry forward our culture for years to come.”
The U.S.-India Business Council is pleased to partner with Diwali at Times Square on October 16, 2016. Celebrating a holiday that represents courage and victory over evil, is perhaps even more important now as we face challenges to our global social fabric. By celebrating at the center of New York City’s iconic Times Square, the message of hope and light will be highlighted in the most befitting way. Enjoyed by millions of Americans with Indian heritage and links, this event will underscore the importance of Indian-Americans in creating and being part of American culture and values.
The festival has come to be annual feature of the Big Apple, showcasing cultural and dance performances, ethnic attractions, local shopping stalls, and mouth-watering Indian cuisine; all leading into “Lighting Up Times Square.”