By Michael V. Cusenza
Thousands of borough Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists danced down Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill Saturday evening as observers marveled at intricate costumes and dazzling floats that mark Deepavali or Diwali—the Festival of Lights.
The highly anticipated cultural celebration kicked off around 5:30 p.m. at Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street with the Diwali Motorcade/Parade. Participants traveled down the thoroughfare to 123rd Street, turned right at 103rd Avenue to return to 133rd Street and the Arya Spiritual Grounds where the floats were judged for creativity, originality and attractiveness.
Diwali is part of an annual five-day fall observance during which families prepare their homes and themselves for special festivities that symbolize the victory of spiritual goodness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Known as a colorful and happy celebration, Diwali also represents the awareness of inner light within a person when ignorance is pushed aside by understanding and enlightenment.
Photos Courtesy of NYPD