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Diwali celebration set for Saturday

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The India Club at South Dakota Mines invites the public to celebrate the 30th annual Diwali Night, an evening of cultural entertainment, food and a fireworks show. Diwali is a festival that celebrates the victory of light over darkness.

The India Club at South Dakota Mines invites the public to celebrate its 30th Annual Diwali Night, featuring cultural entertainment, food and a fireworks show. The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday in the Surbeck Center Ballroom on the Mines campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Mines’ India Club begins Diwali celebrations with a traditional lamp-lighting ceremony, followed by cultural performances. A fireworks display across from Surbeck begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by an authentic Indian dinner. The food is prepared by Indian students enrolled at Mines, aided by the Indian diaspora of Rapid City. Henna hand-painting stations and photo booths will also be available.

Diwali is one of the largest festivals in India, celebrating the “victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance” across the subcontinent. Traditionally, the festival is marked with elaborate fairs, food preparations, prayers and gift-giving. The night is lit up with fireworks and houses are decked with lamps and rangolis, welcoming wealth and prosperity into the household.

Diwali, which has been celebrated around the world for more than 2,500 years, could become a federal holiday in the United States. On Nov. 3, Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York introduced a bill that could make Diwali the twelfth recognized federal holiday in the United States. This year especially, Maloney said Diwali symbolizes the United States’ continued journey out of COVID-19.

"This beautiful festival celebrates lightness over darkness, goodness over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. My bill recognizes the importance of this beautiful holiday and gives it the respect and acknowledgement it deserves,” Maloney said.

If Congress passes this legislation, Diwali could be added to the calendar as a federal holiday as early as 2022. The most recent new federal holiday, added this year, was Juneteenth National Independence Day.

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