Indian Food, Dance to Highlight Hindu Festival

October 26, 2006


Source: New Jersey Media Group

On Saturday, a king comes home from a long journey to claim his throne, and his people light his way on the dark new-moon night with a row of lamps, celebrating the triumph of good over evil.

But this isn't Odysseus on the final leg of the Odyssey -- this is Lord Rama on his Ramayana. He proves his prowess by drawing the bow no man could draw, wanders in exile and kills the demon Ravana, who has kidnapped his wife.

Hindus worldwide celebrate the homecoming of this epic hero, believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu, with the biggest holiday of the year: Deepavali, the festival of lights.

In New Jersey, the traditional diya oil lamps are often replaced by candles and Christmas lights, says Dr. Vidya Bhushan Gupta, president of the Hindu group Arya Samaj in Ridgewood.