New York City’s iconic Times Square transformed into a vision of South Asian culture, as thousands of revelers gathered for an early celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights for the past several years now. However, this year, as many others, the COVID pandemic has restricted the celebration of the light of festival on the Iconic Times Square.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the biggest and most important holiday in India. It lasts for five days, and coincides with the Hindu new year. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs celebrate the religious occasion every autumn in countries throughout South Asia and beyond. In the United States, major Diwali festivals have lit up communities from California to Texas to North Carolina in recent years.
The massive Times Square event ― the largest Diwali celebration outside of India ― has been growing in size since its debut in 2013, attracting large crowds including many people from the city’s numerous immigrant communities. It’s the largest South Asian ethnic event in New York City, where at least 3 million residents ― more than one-third of the population ― are foreign-born, per the Department of City Planning.
The greater New York area is home to some 717,000 Indian citizens, according to the latest U.S. Census estimates. Nationwide, people of Indian origin represent about 1 percent of the population. In fact, India is currently the largest source of new immigrants to America, surpassing Mexico and China.
A virtual celebration of Diwali is planned on Nov 12 with the Diya lighting on the ground & Diya lighting with countdown on Times Square Tallest screen.
“This year, we can can’t celebrate Diwali at Times Square the way we used to celebrate. But we are making sure that the Diwali spirit and vibe will be high. We will continue our Diya Lighting with Countdown ceremony on Times Square’s Tallest Screen (Ball Drop Screen) on Nov 12th from 6:00pm to 6:30 pm,” announced Neeta Bhasin, the organizer of the event. .
After the ceremony, Diwali Message from the community/Organizations will be displayed. The celebration will broadcast live worldwide through TV and Social Media. On Nov. 13trh there will be a musical show and on the 14, the celebrations will culminate with a Light Up Times Square Concert, with internally renowned performers. For details, please visit: