A Hindu festival of lights, and, increasingly, of meals

October 20, 2006

Author: Russell Working

Source: Chicago Tribune


One of South Asia's major festivals, Diwali has drawn increasing crowds to Aurora as Illinois' Indian population has risen.

The Hindu temple is expecting to see record numbers Saturday, more than last year's estimated 7,000 worshipers and perhaps 10,000 over the weekend. And with that comes the responsibility to feed the multitudes.

Between 2000 and 2005, Illinois' Asian Indian population grew by 32,000 to 157,126, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. Many were drawn by opportunities in education or employment, often involving computer technology, local Indians say. And greater numbers means a deeper pool of Indian culture to enrich festivals like Diwali.

Diwali represents the victory of light over darkness, and Hindus commemorate this by lighting lamps at home.