Celebrating Diwali: The Indian Festival of Lights with Dr. Anil Antony

Celebrating Diwali: The Indian Festival of Lights with Dr. Anil Antony


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Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a national Hindu festival that is also welcomed by other religious sects including the Jains and the Sikhs. The festival takes place over a five-day period on auspicious dates during the end of Ashvin/beginning of Kartika–the Hindu lunar calendar months which correlate to the months of October/November on the Gregorian calendar. Learn about this colorful celebration in the company of an expert presenter as we explore the history, the symbolism, and the importance of this extensive festival.

Broadly speaking, Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Each religious denomination has slight regional variations as to how they celebrate Diwali. We’ll discuss the symbolism of the festival in light of the Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs as we learn about everything from Lord Rama to Mahavira to the Guru Hargobind. What is the significance of light and why has lighting diwas become such an integral part of this celebration? Our seminar sets to explain in full detail the connection between light, darkness, and deities. We’ll see examples of brightly adorned houses, streets, and sweet treats, and packaged sugary delights as we learn about how the festival is outwardly celebrated over this colorful five-day extravaganza. We’ll also spend some time discussing how Diwali is celebrating globally, and how families and friends might be celebrating amid 2020’s pandemic.

Led by Dr. Anil Noronha “Noro” Antony, who grew up in Kerala and went on to earn a Ph.D. in biology in the US, this interactive seminar will bring a local, expert perspective to this colorful and important festival. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of this national festival and just how, where, and why it is celebrated.

Dr. Anil “Noro” Noronha Antony is an assistant director of the American Association for Cancer Research, the world’s oldest and largest private cancer research organization. He holds a PhD in Cell and Developmental biology and a lifelong interest in the history and culture of south India. Born in the Muslim-majority United Arab Emirates to an Anglo-Indian Catholic family and trained by a Hindu tantric in Kerala, he has direct experience of all three major Keralite religious traditions.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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The Many Meanings of Diwali
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Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
67%
(6)
22%
(2)
0%
(0)
11%
(1)
0%
(0)
A
A.
A
A.
B
B.S.
Great info
j
j.h.
The Many Meanings of Diwali
A
A.