Those Explosions You Heard Last Night? Hindu Diwali Celebration

Patel Plaza celebrated the end of Diwali, a yearly Hindu festival, with a fireworks display Monday night.

Several local community Facebook groups were atwitter with activity Monday night after residents heard what they thought were explosions in the area.

But no need to worry. Patel Plaza, the fast-growing Indian shopping center on Church Street outside Decatur, was hosting a celebration of the end of Diwali, a five-day Hindu festival known as the "festival of lights" that began this year on Nov. 13.

The plaza launched the fireworks display last night, however, because DeKalb County police gave them permission for that date, one of the retailers told Patch.

If you're not familiar with Diwali, here's a pretty good primer from the BBC:

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is the most popular of all the festivals from South Asia. It is also an occasion for celebration by Jains and Sikhs.

The festival of Diwali extends over five days. Because of the lights, fireworks and sweets involved, it's a great favourite with children.

The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that go with the festival are different in different parts of India.

(Thanks to Corinne Feiss Smith in Medlock for the picture.)

In related news, Patel Plaza plans to finish a second phase of expansion by early next year.

  • Report: Large Expansion Headed for Patel Plaza


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