Diwali SA Festival of Light set to illuminate Hemisfair
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Saturday’s Diwali Festival of Light may be the most optimistic of all of San Antonio’s citywide festivals.
“We always talk about the essence of Diwali, which is the victory of good over evil, the emergence of light over darkness, and also knowledge over ignorance,” said producer Kausi Subramanium.
The event focuses on the people, cultures, food and music of India.
“This is the 15th anniversary of the festival, so we do have some surprises in store for people who attend,” she said.
She added: “As usual, we will have the presentation of classical dances, folk dances, film and fusion dances on the various stages. There are going to be three stages this year, but we will also have the parade of states, which is a river parade.”
It starts on Saturday at 4:30 with that river parade at the Arneson River Theater highlighting the different regions of India.
“We will have several states of India represented in the parade,” she said. “And the people who are riding in the parade will be dressed in their regional attire from that state. The barges will be decorated from elements from those states as well.”
The many styles of clothing worn across India will be on display both on the barges, and throughout the festival itself.
“Yes, our clothing is something we're definitely known for because there's a lot of color, a lot of dazzle,” Subramanian said. “And the nice thing is people can actually purchase some of what they see people wearing because we'll have several vendors selling jewelry, clothing and art from India.
One of the crowd favorites is what’s called the Diya Ceremony, wherein festivalgoers get to make a ceremonial wish.
“The Diya ceremony is where you release the candle ... this year it's going to be in the Civic Park in the fountains. So you release a candle into the fountains, and you make a wish for your future,” she said.
Music and dance will fill the three stages, and a DJ will play Bollywood tunes to keep festival-goers on their toes.
The festival runs from 4:30 to midnight, and at about 10 there will be a huge fireworks show.
There are plenty of items to purchase, but admission is free.