Stay Current with the Pick of the Day: Diwali San Antonio: Festival of Lights

Diwali San Antonio

Forget Indian asceticism: “mela” is Sanskrit for “fiesta” and the local Indian community pulls out the stops on November 3 in celebration of Diwali, the annual “Festival of Lights,” one of the most significant, widely celebrated Indian holidays. The event is organized by Anuja SA, the local nonprofit charged with promoting cultural ties with Chennai, our sister city in south India, but Diwali San Antonio is an award-winning event that showcases the cultural diversity of the entire subcontinent with the largest India festival in Texas, drawing 15,000 people from around the state. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with the sultry sounds of Sangeet Millennium, Austin’s premier Indo-jazz fusion ensemble. Traditional dance shares the stage with Bollywood Zumba and a Bhangra dance-along, and no mela is complete without the aromatic tastes and colors of India, so expect plenty of food and craft vendors. The evening culminates with hundreds of diya, small earthenware oil lamps, set afloat in the Hemisfair fountain and a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, sending everybody home with a little bit of India from deep in the heart of Texas. Free; 5-10pm Sat, Nov 3; Hemisfair Park, 200 S Alamo, Check out our full online calendar of upcoming events here: