Bellevue Square transforms into Festival of Lights

Diwali celebrates traditions and prosperity.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, took over Bellevue Square on Oct. 19 in celebration of one of India’s most honored holidays.

The event was supported by the Bellevue Collection and the Seattle Maharashtra Mandal community and shoppers experienced an assortment of traditional Indian performances of dance, visual arts, craft stations and music while window shopping.

Diwali celebrations go on for five days, and each day has its own significance. The purpose of Diwali is to welcome in the new year and the happiness and prosperity for the future to come. It is also the festival of lights and a main reason the festival is brightly colored is to symbolize the victory of good over evil.

During the five days, people celebrate in various ways with specific rules. On the first day, some people decorate their homes with lanterns and rangoli (patterns made with colorful sand petals) and gralands to represent prosperity and growth of wealth, while on another day, festivalgoers exchange gifts to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters.

While the festival is steeped with symbolic messages, traditions and rituals, the roots of Diwali originated from the old agrarian days in India.

Kalyani Varadpande, event organizer, said the geographical reason to celebrate Diwali is because India is an agricultural country and farming is one of the most prevalent occupations.

During the calendar year, Diwali comes after all the crops have been grown and are now being sold. Varadpande explained Diwali is one way farmers could celebrate the money earned and show their thanks. Farmers and business people also used Diwali as a signifier to start their new bookkeeping for the year.

Varadpande said India has seen a shift in job occupations as country becomes more tech based. This shift has also changed the focus of Diwali.

“Our lives are very busy these days, in the olden days life was more quiet,” Varadpande said. “But because of our busy schedules, the IT industry, we have a very busy life. So, these five days are meant to be used as our family time.”

More in Life

Neighborhood Enhancement Program comes to Crossroads

A “kickoff” meeting was held on Jan. 22.

Centro Cultural Mexicano exhibit opens doors to discussions on immigration, border issues

“Border Doors” features art by students who have visited the United States-Mexico border.

Photo courtesy Studio East
                                Shot from a 2012 performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
Studio East, StoryBook theater announce winter shows

Programming includes “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “The Tempest” and “Little Red.”

Photo by Claire Albright
                                The Bellevue Ice Rink has various events throughout the season, such as stroller skate days, free skate lessons, Husky Skate Day, and Jedi Skate Night. These help switch up the typical skating experience.
Time to say goodbye to Bellevue Ice Rink for season

Taking a look behind-the-scenes of the Bellevue Ice Rink as the break-down process begins

Business perspective for the new year | Financial advice column

A monthly business column from a local financial adviser.

Award-winning play ‘The Good Adoptee’ coming to Mercer Island

The autobiographical drama was penned by acclaimed playwright Suzanne Bachner.

The time for gratitude is now | Health column

Being grateful for the present and focusing on what you have versus what you don’t have is the key to mindfulness.

Embrace the struggle for a complete picture | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and general wellbeing.

KCLS continuing to build connections in 2020 | Submitted content

A monthly column about library happenings.

From left: students Riley Retinger, Abby Smith, Mimmi Hubbard and Sadie Rabinowitz. Photo by Calah Webb
‘It’s one of my favorite places to be’: School of Rock Issaquah gears up for January shows

In January, students will be paying homage to the Beatles, Black Sabbath, Chris Cornell and others.

Back row, from left: Eric Vaughn, Lisa Dreher and Hope Maltz, Hideo Fujita, Sheri Campbell, Warren Mainard. Front row, from left to right: Jenny Chang, Kendy Sasaki-Ross, Rob Kamihana and Monika Kannadaguli. Photo courtesy Eastgate Expounders
More than a speaking group: Eastgate Expounders look back at 15 years

Eastgate Expounders is one of many clubs under the overarching Toastmasters International nonprofit.