ST LOUIS, MO – Diwali is a cherished celebration at Bal Vihar of St. Louis and the Festival of Lights was celebrated on November 6 at the Hindu Temple of St. Louis and at the neighboring Mahatma Gandhi Center.
The 24th Bal Vihar Diwali celebrations began amid the chanting of Vedic invocations and hymns by the temple priests, in the mandir, where a large number of children were seated in rows.
Students and faculty alike were led through the hour-long puja and everyone participated with great enthusiasm. The priests explained a few facets and the significance and spirit of the puja.
While the puja was in full swing, a group of Bal Vihar parent volunteers packed boxed dinners for all attendees, while another group prepared for the firecracker distribution to students when Diwali puja was to finish.
In order to ensure safety of all present, the area between the Gandhi Center and the Hindu Temple was cordoned off, in preparation for the fireworks display.
Upon completion of Diwali puja, the children were led to the Mahatma Gandhi Center. Food and firecrackers were distributed in an efficient and flawless manner.
With dusk falling upon the attendees and with the backdrop of the temple–all decorated with a thousand colorful string lights–the area was soon lit with sparkles, different fireworks and joy was in the air.
The finale fireworks display was nothing short of spectacular and indeed, it was a glimpse of India, right here in St. Louis, for all, especially the children.
Thanks to all the superb efforts of a great team of volunteers as well as teachers, admin staff and enthusiastic children who cooperated all the way, a wonderful Diwali was once again celebrated by entire Bal Vihar family.
Bal Vihar entered into its 25th year of service, with a current enrolment of about 450 students, and having served more than 2,000 children in the Metro St. Louis Indian community.
It continues to help the future citizens and achievers of America to discover their cultural identity, and to appreciate its application in their life and in the multicultural and multifaceted society that they live in.