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Your Guide To The Most Raucous Religious Holidays All Year

Posted 02.28.2014 | Religion

With Carnival here and Mardi Gras right around the corner you might be wondering how a religious holiday could be so fun. Turns out, Carnival isn'...

Hindus In New Jersey Petition For Diwali School Holiday

Religion News Service | Katherine Davis | Posted 02.26.2014 | Religion

(RNS) Jyoti Sharma fondly remembers Diwali festivities from her childhood in India. The Hindu festival of lights is observed every autumn with prayers...

Why We Should Respect All Cultural Celebrations

Molly Alexander Darden | Posted 03.30.2014 | Impact
Molly Alexander Darden

Every American stands on the shoulders of courageous, hard-working ancestors who came here from another country, bringing their cultures with them. Each of us is justifiably proud of our culture and heritage, and we deserve to see them respected, if not honored.

A Tree Grows in Mumbai

Padmini Parthasarathy | Posted 02.24.2014 | Religion
Padmini Parthasarathy

I was raised an American Hindu who feels more nostalgia for December pine in New York than October sulfur in Mumbai. I didn't think I would see a Christmas tree this year. And this one was startlingly alive, outside, swaying between private mourning and public celebration.

5 Lesser-Known Holidays Around The World

Posted 11.24.2013 | Travel

With Thanksgiving is on deck and winter celebrations are in the near future, America is abuzz with holiday preparations until New Year's Day. You ...

Happy Diwali From Michelle Obama

Posted 11.05.2013 | Religion

The White House celebrated Diwali by lighting the White House diya, as Michelle Obama addressed the gathering in the Blue Room. This marks the fifth t...

Happy Diwali: Let's Transform Ourselves, Our Communities and Our Country Through UtsavSeva

Anju Bhargava | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Anju Bhargava

Together we've come a long way, sevaks! In April 2009, when I joined the President's Inaugural Advisory Council, the words Dharma and Seva were new terms for the White House officials.

Deepvali: Enlightenment Through the Festival of Lights

Manjula Kumar | Posted 01.23.2014 | DC
Manjula Kumar

At this time of the year as Mother Nature displays a stunning palette of shimmering colors -- from bronze to russet to burnished yellow to ochre and the most subtle shades of green -- Hindus celebrate DEEPAVALI/DIWALI or the Festival of Lights with its own colorful and meaningful promise.

Celebrating Diwali

KidSpirit | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion

Diwali is a quiet event in the Himalayan mountains. But in Calcutta, Diwali is celebrated in grand style. So this year, we decided to stay back. I was delighted. I would finally get to spend Diwali with friends.

LOOK: Congress Lights Up To Celebrate Diwali

Posted 10.31.2013 | Religion

Over two dozen lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill to light traditional diya as a priest chanted Vedic mantras for the first-ever Congressional Diwali ...

A Hindu Halloween Lament

Vineet Chander | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Vineet Chander

Behind the compromises and negotiation of clashing cultures, there lie important questions about assimilation, accommodation, and appropriation; minority communities growing and evolving in a multi-faith world; the interplay of power, normativity, hegemony, and identity.

Diwali Does Not End When the Lights Go Out

Anantanand Rambachan | Posted 12.30.2013 | Religion
Anantanand Rambachan

We may not all agree on the precise paths for the goal of overcoming poverty, illiteracy, disease and violence. But even consensus about these as shared goals of our common life and as essential to the meaning of being Hindu is a grand step.

LOOK: Gorgeous Diwali Festivities In Full Swing

Posted 11.03.2013 | Religion

In 2013, Diwali, the festival of lights, will be celebrated on Nov. 3 by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit deepavali, w...

Diwali: Celebrating the Light of Wisdom

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar | Posted 12.29.2013 | Religion
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Diwali, in essence, is celebrated to kindle the light of wisdom in every heart, the light of life in every home, and bring a smile on every face.

Diwali: Garlanding the Light of Diversity

Deepak Sarma | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Deepak Sarma

While the other festivals have been celebrated throughout the Hindu diaspora, the malleability of the Diwali narrative and its pan-Indian nature has made it syncretistic.

Another Indian Rape Victim Commits Suicide

Reuters | Posted 03.18.2013 | World

By Manoj Kumar and Nita Bhalla and Ross Colvin BADSHAHPUR, India/NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - On the evening of Dec. 26, as an Indian...

Where Is the Light When Tragedy Strikes?

Beth Woolsey | Posted 02.16.2013 | Parents
Beth Woolsey

This is the season of darkness, it's true. But I believe today more than ever that one of our most profound acts as human beings, and perhaps our most unifying, is our insistence on celebrating the light at the exact time it appears lost to us.

And You Thought Thanksgiving Was Big

Posted 11.22.2012 | World

On Thursday, people across the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving in the most American of ways: by stuffing their faces full of turkey, cranber...

Diwali Yoga in Columbia Heights

Dawn Cherie Araujo | Posted 11.14.2012 | DC
Dawn Cherie Araujo

For yoga instructor Holly Meyers, the lessons about the light and the dark drawn from Diwali are not for Hindus alone. She rightly notes that many faith traditions have similar constructs.

Bandi Chhor Divas Reflection: A Lesson In Selflessness

Rupinder Mohan Singh | Posted 01.13.2013 | Religion
Rupinder Mohan Singh

As I have gradually increased my community involvement over the past year, the story of Bandi Chhor Divas is a reminder to look beyond oneself, and to use the privilege that has been conferred by the Creator to aid those who are less fortunate.

What Diwali Means: Love, Justice And Community

Allegra Wiprud | Posted 01.13.2013 | Religion
Allegra Wiprud

As a convert to Hinduism, I often struggle to find meaning in our festivals and holidays. They're fun, but what are we really celebrating? Sometimes it's hard to find the meaning of the holiday amid all the cheer.

Seeking A Stamp Of Approval

Sumit Galhotra | Posted 01.13.2013 | Religion
Sumit Galhotra

Stamps commemorating major religious holidays exist for Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid. However, one for Diwali, which is happening now, has yet to come to fruition.

President Obama's Diwali Message

Posted 11.13.2012 | Religion

Statement by the President on the occasion of Diwali: Today, here at home and across the globe, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists will celebr...

Why Do Hindus Celebrate Diwali?

Parth Parihar | Posted 01.13.2013 | Religion
Parth Parihar

Diwali for me has always been something empowering: a time to reflect on all of the positives within our lives -- our loving friends and family, our good health, and prosperity -- and realize what it is truly important.

Diwali: Celebrating Light After Hurricane Sandy

Nikhil Bumb | Posted 01.13.2013 | Religion
Nikhil Bumb

I have a newfound meaning for Diwali. There is more to the festival of lights than lighting lamps, wearing fancy clothing and feasting. The real lesson of Diwali is to move beyond these material aspects in order to recognize the value light holds in our lives.