The new moon night of the month of Kartik on the Hindu calendar
Diwali is a celebration of good over evil, light over darkness, a time of happiness and with over 2 million Hindus in the U.S., Diwali was given official status in 2007 as a designated holiday. President Obama was the first president to personally attend Diwali at the White House in 2009 and released this statement in 2010.
Tomorrow, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, here in America and around the world, will celebrate the holiday of Diwali – the festival of lights. This is a day when members of some of the world's oldest religions celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Last year, I marked this holiday as many will this weekend – by lighting the Diya, or lamp. This lamp symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
Diwali is a time for celebration, but it is also a time for reflection – a time when we must remember that there are always others less fortunate then ourselves. This holiday reminds us all that we should commit ourselves to helping those in need. For many, this is also a time to gather with family and to pray. To those celebrating Diwali in India, I look forward to visiting you over the next few days. And to all those who will celebrate this joyous occasion on Friday, I wish you, your families and loved ones Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak.