The rich aromas of flavorful Indian food filled the room as children and adults danced and sang on stage during the Celebrate India Diwali Banquet at the Cascades Country Club in Tyler on Saturday.

Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” Diwali is a Hindu festival. Diwali, officially celebrated Nov. 11, but can occur any date between mid-October to mid-November, according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. The holiday is celebrated by people of various faiths, including Hindus, Jains and Sikhs who interpret the holiday with different stories based on the theme of good over evil and light over darkness.

The annual Tyler event was hosted by the Indian Association of East Texas, a nonprofit organization. The highlight of the night was the cultural program performed by community members. Cultural performances included performance of United States and India national anthems, Bollywood medleys and dances from various regions of India.

New to the banquet was an after-dinner fireworks display.

More than 500 people attended the sold-out event.

- Sarah Miller




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