Video: Akron Diwali Festival

Video by Abigail Stopka

By Abigail Stopka, Correspondant

On Oct. 23, 2022, Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) held the downtown Akron Diwali Festival to celebrate the holiday Diwali. Reporter Abigail Stopka was there to capture the celebration so Buchtelite readers could share in the experience.

Diwali, meaning Festival of Lights, signifies the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. It is a holiday, celebrated worldwide by members of the Hindu, Jain and Sikh religions.

During Diwali, little clay lamps filled with oil, called diya, are lighted t0 welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. The celebrations also include rangoli, colorful geometric patterns, floral images, religious symbols and candles that decorate the ground, often in doorways.

In Akron on Sunday, families came together to share their culture with the community with rangoli, diya and a line up of cultural dances including Naada Roopini and Lingashtakem, performed by the Adrija Dance Studio and Anga Kala Kathak Academy. 

Nirali Schrader, owner of Akron Henna Art and Akron Bollywood Dance created a large scale rangoli with chalk on the landing at Cascade Plaza. The evening of lights, food and celebration ended with a cold spark pyrotechnic light show by Pyrotecnico.

Downtown Akron Diwali Festival was presented by Downtown Akron Partnership with support from the City of Akron, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Ohio Arts Council.