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October 22, 2008 > Celebrating the festival of lights

Celebrating the festival of lights

By Meenu Gupta

We all love this time of the year, the start of fall with orange maple leaves crushing under our feet on morning walks. It is the beginning of feeling a chill in the air and most of all festive celebrations followed by the New Year. Around this time Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is celebrated with zeal. Glittering lights, mouth-watering sweets, dance and music mark Diwali signifying the victory of good against evil.


The Fremont Hindu Temple invites everyone to share the joy of Diwali at a grand festival Saturday, October 25. Bhajan recitals, prayers and programs inside the temple will start at 7 p.m. Preet Bhoj, a special dinner, will also start at 7 p.m. Prayers offered by Pandit Govindji will be from 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

"The temple has been organizing this event for over four years now, each year we get a tremendous response from the public. We arrange special parking and security as a good gathering is expected this year also, like last year," said Anita Kapoor, Temple Administrator.

Cultural programs for kids up to 14 years of age will be organized, and those who wish to participate can sign up by writing to Rachna Bhatnagar, organizer of the cultural events, at

Special Diwali Prayers will be held Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, October 26, 27 and 28. The suggested donation is $51 on any one of those days or $201 for all three days. One day Prasadam sponsors receive one coin; Grand Sponsors will also receive a saree worn by Goddess Lakshmi Devi. Devotees interested in participating in the Puja (prayers) may contact Anita Kapoor at (510) 659-0655.


The Hindu Temple & Community Center in Sunnyvale is also organizing a large celebration this weekend. "The organization has been organizing this festival since 1993. It is very popular with the public, with three fun-filled days," said Sanjay Aggarwal, one of the organizers.

Starting on Friday with a concert, the program will feature Rath Yatra on Saturday and special worship will be offered to the Hindu deity Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Bollywood, singers Shubha Mudgal and Vinod Rathore will perform for the crowd. Those who enjoy singing and listening to Hindi songs may participate in an antakshri contest. A form is available online for participation in the singing antakshri contest, cultural programs, or if you wish to reserve a booth. Raffle prizes will also be awarded every two hours. Donations of $7 per person per day are accepted at the entrance gate.

To reserve a stall, contact Sanjay Agarwal (408) 802-3007. To participate in a cultural event write to Sangeeta Mehra at To participate in singing Antakshari competition contact Parul Agarwal at (408) 270-3916.

In Fremont:

Diwali Celebration
Saturday, October 25
6:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Vedic Dharam Samaj
Fremont Hindu Temple
3676 Delaware Dr., Fremont
(510) 659-0655

In Sunnyvale:

Diwali Mela 2008
Friday, October 24
8 p.m. to midnight
Saturday, October 25
Noon to midnight
Sunday, October 26
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunnyvale Hindu Temple
420-450 Persian Dr., Sunnyvale
(408) 734-4554

The parking lot on the temple premises is not available to the general public. Park on Morse Ave., Borregess Drive, Karstad Street, Toyama Avenue or at NetApp (Network Appliances) located at 1305 Crossman Ave., Sunnyvale. Shuttle service is available to the temple from the parking area. Parking and the shuttle service is free.

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