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Diwali ‘Festival of Lights’ Nov. 2 on Livermore plaza

LIVERMORE — Join the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and the Hindu Cultural Community Center in Livermore as they celebrate the Diwali “Festival of Lights.”

The event is free and takes place Saturday, Nov. 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Bankhead Shea plaza, 2400 First St.

The celebration is an ancient Hindu festival that marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Diwali is celebrated every autumn or spring in South Asian countries such as India and Nepal. The tradition originated as a festival marking the last harvest of the year before the start of winter and spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

This cultural event will feature spectacular Bollywood and Classical Indian dances, Dhol performances, along with a storyteller speaking about the history and meaning of Diwali. The Bollywood Jam will lead a free workshop on Bollywood dancing, to the music of world-renowned Ustad Lal Bhatti Ji. The event will also offer a variety of different booths specializing in Bollywood apparel, jewelry, diya decorations, rangoli art, and provide a craft area for children. Sansaar Indian Restaurant and other food vendors will be at the event selling delicious Indian cuisine.

This is the third year the Diwali “Festival of Lights” has been held on the plaza and is one of many free family-oriented cultural events the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center sponsors throughout the year. In the coming months, they will offer an African American celebration in January, a Chinese New Year celebration in February, and a Hispanic Heritage Day in May.