Celebrating Diwali ‘Reminds Us to Create Our Own Light’

After a long, hard year, the Festival of Lights is a welcome reset

Kiran Misra
Published in
4 min readNov 13, 2020


Woman lighting candles for Diwali.
Photo: India Photography/Getty Images

After an exhausting year dominated by a pandemic and an equally tiring election cycle rife with racist and xenophobic attacks, a weekend of new beginnings and celebration feels overdue.

Enter Diwali.

Also known in the West as the Festival of Lights, this celebration will be observed this year by millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists on Saturday, November 14 as one of our biggest holidays. Others will observe Bandi Chhor Diwas, the biggest holiday of the year for Sikhs. And for many that applaud Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ South Asian parentage, this year’s Diwali portends the possibility of such celebrations becoming the norm in the White House and across the country.

Whether you’re just learning about Diwali or are a longtime observer putting a new twist on old traditions, here’s what you can do to commemorate the day:

  • Celebrate and reflect on the past year. Diwali is observed as the Hindu New Year, and many see it is a fresh start by donning new clothes or buying gold and new utensils. “My favorite part of Diwali is being together as a family,” says Ankit Jain, who is celebrating in Virginia. “We have a tradition of…