Indian 'Festival of Lights' Celebrated at Times Square Diwali Event

By Alan Neuhauser on September 20, 2013 1:22pm 

 A Diwali "Festival of Lights" celebration in Times Square on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2013, is expected to attract thousands of revelers, organizers said.
A Diwali "Festival of Lights" celebration in Times Square on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2013, is expected to attract thousands of revelers, organizers said.
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Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

MIDTOWN — India's "Festival of Lights" will illuminate the Great White Way on Sunday with a celebration featuring live Bollywood music, South Asian food and more that's expected to draw thousands throughout the day.

The holiday, Diwali, symbolizes new beginnings, and observers mark the occasion by lighting lamps, candles and fireworks to show "victory over evil...light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance," the "Diwali at Times Square" website said.

The event is being observed in Times Square with an outdoor celebration on Broadway between West 45th and West 47th streets. Organized by Nheeta Bhasin, president and CEO of the marketing firm ASB Communications, the event will take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Coming barely a week after Nina Davuluri became the first Indian-American to be named Miss America, Diwali at Times Square will feature a "Light Up Times Square" concert showcasing "live performances from some of the biggest names in South Asian entertainment," including Bollywood acting couple Rishi and Neetu Kapoor, and their son Ranbir, who's also an actor.

Other attractions include:

11:25 a.m.: Govinda human-pyramids, which will be showcased throughout the day.
1:10 p.m.: Traditional-dance lessons and performances, which will also be held throughout the day.
2 p.m.: A fashion show featuring Indian styles, including a Navari sari
2:10 and 3:10 p.m.: Sari-draping lessons
2:20 p.m.: An autograph-signing and photo-booth featuring some of South Asia's most notable celebrities
9 p.m.: A surprise closing performance "by one of Indian's most famous entertainers."

South Asian food and drinks will be provided by Kingfisher, Kulfiwala Kice Cream, Rajbhog Foods, Royal Albert's Palace, Sattvika and Tea India.

For the full schedule, visit the event's website.

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