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Celebrate Diwali: Festival of Lights

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Celebrate Diwali: Festival of Lights at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

By Cecilia Clark, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Diwali has become one of the most anticipated weekends at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose for staff and visitors. We love planning for this joyful celebration and our visitors respond with their enthusiastic participation and appreciation. This year’s sixth annual festival on October 20th and 21st is teeming with traditional and contemporary dance troupes, visual arts and crafts, Diwali story time, and delicious samples of food. We can’t wait!

Children and adults can make a lantern, mold a Diya lamp, sample yummy burfi, and fashion beautiful henna designs. These immersive activities are sure to delight people of all ages and bring South Asian culture and traditions to life.

Purvi Shah of Picasso Art Studio will be a welcoming presence as you enter the museum. She’ll be creating a spectacular rangoli design on the entrance floor, introducing families to the decorative art form that is used by families to bring about good luck. Youngsters can have a go at creating their own stunning artwork in the museum’s Art Studio and Art Loft.

We’ll kick off both days with a thunderous Dhol dance by Zoraver Dhillon. He’ll set the mood for this happy occasion that brings together children, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Diwali is an opportunity to pause and be grateful, make special memories with family and friends, and share traditions celebrated by so many in our Bay Area community and beyond.

New this year! To honor the Sikh holiday, Bandi Chorr Divas, which coincides with the celebration of Diwali, we’ve added a new activity. Visitors can fashion their own colorful cloaks or cholas from paper, markers, and brightly colored fabrics.

The afternoon is filled with exotic dance, stunning costumes, and impressive moves by Abhinaya, Kathk Kala Vihar, Xpressions, Dhoom, Aerodance, EnActe Arts, Ushanjali School Dance, Jeena, and Lavinaka & Nabh dance troupes. These talented groups will take your breath away with their high-energy fusion of modern rhythms, classic Indian dance, and brightly colored performances.

We originally created the The Diwali Festival in partnership with an advisory board comprised of members of the South Asian community as part of our strategic commitment, Inclusion and Cultural Competence. We’re committed to promoting the region’s diversity through our Cultural Celebration series, so that families of all backgrounds can explore the many cultures and traditions in Silicon Valley. The Diwali Festival joins other museum celebrations including the Lantern Festival, Dia de los Muertos, Menorahs & Miracles, Children of the Dragon, El Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos, Lunar New Year, Proud of My Family, and Family Lunadas.

Saturday, October 20; Museum opens at 10 a.m.

Sunday, October 21; Museum opens at 12 noon.

Cost of Admission: adults: $15; children: $15; seniors: $14; infants and members are free. Festivities are included in the price of admission.   


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