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Star-Studded Celebration

Nov/03/2023 / by Team Seema
Megha Tolia, Tania Sarin, Bina Patel

On October 28, stars from the global South Asian community joined together to commemorate the Festival of Lights at the New York City All That Glitters Diwali Ball. The event, hosted by Mindy Kaling, Huma Abedin, Malala Yousafzai, Padma Lakshmi, and many other notables, celebrated inclusivity, the American dream, and the ascension of South Asians in the U.S.  

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Wide Recognition 

With the South Asian population continuing to grow in the United States (Indian Americans are now the second-largest immigrant group at more than 4 million), more communities across the country are observing Diwali by creating public-school holidays. State lawmakers in New York recently passed legislation to make it a holiday in the nation’s largest school system. 

In 2022, about 23 school districts in New Jersey gave students a day off for Diwali, and other districts across the country, including in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, also observed the holiday with a day off. Other school districts, including Maryland’s Montgomery County, designated Diwali as a Professional Learning Day, so students do not have to attend class.

Everyone has off this year, as Diwali falls on Sunday, November 12. Cities across the nation are recognizing the holiday with major celebrations. Here are some to check out this year throughout the month:

Diwali Mela 2023

Date: November 4

Dallas/ Fort Worth, Texas

One combined event of the year for greater DFW Community at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Experience the grandeur and excitement of the biggest ever Diwali celebration in Dallas-Fort Worth. Join the extravaganza filled with dazzling laser shows, breathtaking fireworks, captivating Ram Leela performances, and a scintillating Bollywood concert. 

Diwali Masti 2023 with Bhagyashree

Date: November 4 

Edison, NJ

Get ready for a blast of fun and festivities at Diwali Masti 2023 with Bollywood actor Bhagyashree. The event includes an exquisite dinner, engaging games and exciting prizes for everyone to enjoy. Groove to the rhythm of Bollywood music and enjoy performances by Maheswari (India’s Got Talent – Semifinalist) that capture the essence of Diwali.

Festival of Lights at Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art

Date: November 5

Washington, DC

Celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, at an after-hours event where the museum will be lit up in celebration of light overcoming darkness. Enjoy food and sweets, watch performances, create crafts, and more. Enjoy seeing the Freer Plaza and Moongate Garden lit up to celebrate Diwali. Lights will turn on at sundown and will be preceded by a traditional blessing called an arti

Asia Society Celebration

Date: November 11 

New York City, NY

Diwali returns to Asia Society with an in-person, fun-filled, and multi-sensorial afternoon. This event is co-hosted in partnership with Asia Society and The Culture Tree. Enjoy puppet shows, dance performances, storytelling, and hands-on arts and crafts inspired by the holiday.

Diwali Miami 23

Date: November 12

Miami, FL

Diwali Miami “Festival of Lights” returns for its third edition of the festival starts from 5 pm onward in the heart of Miami. The event will be hosted by Arti Lalwani from the hit series Indian Match Making.

Diwali Grand Celebration 

Date: November 18

Fort Lauderdale, FL 

Visitors to the Broward County Convention Center will get to enjoy cultural displays from all parts of India with music and dance performances in different categories such as Bhangra, Garba, folk, and Bollywood Fusion. In the last five years, this event has proved to be a major attraction in Broward County with over 60 vendor booths and thousands of attendees each year!

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Festive Season’s Big Releases

Each year around Diwali, the best of Indian entertainment hits the big screens worldwide, in multiple languages and 2023 is no different. Block your calendar and get ready for wholesome cinema this festive season.   

Tiger 3 (Hindi)

Starring Bollywood’s one and only Salman Khan, Tiger 3 is bound to bring big crowds. Co-starring Kartrina Kaif, the movie is a follow-up of sorts to Tiger, War, Tiger Zinda Hai, and Pathaan. Expect lots of action, fast-paced dialogue, and a couple of surprise appearances from other Bollywood actors. 

Japan (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam)

This action-comedy-thriller promises a lot, and stars Karthi who last appeared in the much-loved Ponniyin Selvan series. Written and directed by Raju Murugan, the film is most likely to be a political satire like Murugan’s previous films, and the first look released earlier this year had every fan talking about Karthi’s badass gold-studded ensemble. 

Jigarthanda Double X (Tamil, Telugu, Hindi)

The premise is intriguing and should make for a light-hearted watch—it’s the 1970s and a filmmaker and gangster team up to make a film. Starring the multi-talented Raghava Lawrence and S. J. Suryah, the film is a standalone prequel to director Karthik Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda (2014).

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