by Lizzie Stephani '18
On Sunday, October 30, students from a wide variety of faith backgrounds gathered in Helen Hills Hills Chapel to observe the Hindu festival of lights known as Diwali, or Deepavali. On the steps just outside the doors to the chapel, students used chalk to create bright and vibrant rangolis. This is a common tradition associated with the festivities of Diwali which generally celebrate the inevitable overcoming of evil with good, and ignorance with knowledge.
Students prayed to the Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity together, burning incents and offering up white flowers. Students also lit diyas to welcome her presence into the space. These traditions were largely inline with Northern Indian rituals.
Following the prayer, the students shared a meal consisting of traditional Indian food. Students also exchanged sweets to celebrate. Many students in attendance and leading the event were dressed in traditional Hindu clothing.