Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, falls on Sunday, November 12 this year. During the holiday, which symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, people illuminate their homes, feast with family and friends, and enjoy mithai, or sweets. Here are some of the ways you can celebrate around Portland.
Diwali & Día de los Muertos Multi-Cultural Celebration
On Saturday, November 4, this combination celebration hosted by Dance United and DJ Prashant will merge traditions from Día de los Muertos and Diwali. In addition to a world music-fueled dance party, holiday decorations including colorful diyas and ofrendas will fill the T.E.A.M Center and guests will be treated to complimentary tacos, chai, and Mexican hot chocolate. The event is free and open to all ages, but guests can RSVP and/or make a donation on the Eventbrite page.
Diwali Festival at The Judy
Swing by Northwest Children’s Theater’s venue the Judy, which opened its doors in spring 2023, for Diwali festivities on Sunday, November 5. Sweet and savory treats will be available for purchase from the Big Elephant. The free event (RSVPs encouraged) will also feature a diya dance tutorial and crafts.
Desi Diwali Dance Party
The Crystal Ballroom’s second floor venue Lola’s Room will host a dance party and cultural heritage night with DJ Prashant on Friday, November 10. The party is 21+ and tickets cost between $12 and $15.
Diwali at Bhuna
Diners at chef Deepak Kaul’s “Indian soul food” restaurant will dine by candle- and lamp-light after sundown on November 12. The dining room will also have a small shrine display featuring Hindu gods Ganesha and Lakshmi. The holiday is celebrated with sweet treats, and Bhuna’s gulab jamun, kheer, and cardamom chocolate chip cookies will be available in addition to mango kulfi.