Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists across the world and is equally celebrated by residents of Eden Prairie.
The festival usually lasts five days symbolizing the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. This year Diwali is celebrated from Nov 12th through Nov 16th.
Across Eden Prairie many families start preparing for Diwali by cleaning, renovating and decorating their homes and workplaces with diyas (oil lamps) and rangolis.
Rangoli is an art form, originating from India, in which patterns are created on the floor using materials such as colored rice, colored sand or flower petals.
Diwali is a time to wear the finest clothes, eat loads of sweets, perform Laksmi Puja. Laksmi Puja is the worship ceremonies of Laksmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth.
Prior to Covid families would get together and take part in an Indian feast and let off fireworks as well as exchange gifts. This year is much different especially with restrictions on private and public gatherings.
In years past, many Eden Prairie residents would take part in Diwali cultural dance festivals were attendance would be close to 1,000 people at any one time. This year, many families across Eden Prairie are hosting smaller Diwali parties with close family and friends with prayers focused on ending the COVID crisis.
The temples across the Twin Cities are also hosting restricted services. For example, on Sunday November 15, the Hindu Temple of Minnesota held prayer services with attendance restricted to 50 people at any one time. In years past the temple would have had thousands of people in attendance.