The start of November marks the beginning of Diwali.
The celebration is one of India's most important festivals of the year, recognizing the "triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil," according to National Geographic.
The the five-day holiday is observed by people across the Indian diaspora and honored with lights, prayer, fireworks, family gatherings, and feasts. Annually based on the Hindu lunar calendar, Diwali encompasses the time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth. The celebration went virtual last year, but is making a robust in-person return in Space City with festivals, marketplaces, and food specials.
Scroll below to find out how to celebrate Diwali in Houston.
Multiday celebrations at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
The Hindu temple in Stafford will have multiple events in celebration of Diwali, including a time of reflection, known as The Hanuman Puja, and Chopda Pujan, a ritual that guarantees prosperity going into the new year.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, 1150 Brand Lane, Stafford, TX 77477. For more information, visit the temple's website.
Mahesh's Kitchen in Sugar Land
The newest addition to Sugar Land Town Center is celebrating Diwali in a major way this year. Starting November 3, guests will be treated with complimentary Diwali specialty snacks such as Chakli, a savory spiral-shaped snack composed of fried dough, and Chiwda, a traditional Indian tea-time snack made with flattened rice, spices, curry leaves, and nuts. To complement the tasty food, Mahesh's Kitchen also has a weeklong lineup of live music, and Mehendi and Heena drawing.
Mahesh's Kitchen, 16019 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479. Wednesday, November 3 through Sunday, November 7. For more information, visit, https://www.maheshskitchen.com/.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness Houston
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) begins its Diwali Festival Thursday, November 4. The celebration will include a hybrid of in-person and virtual events.
- ISKCON of Houston, 1320 W 34th Street. Thursday, November 4 through Friday, November 5. For more information, visit their website.
For the second year in a row, Musaafer has created a thoughtful series of dishes that highlight the various meanings and folklore behind Diwali. The multi-course menu features traditional Diwali recipes curated by Musaafer's Executive Chef Mayank Istwal and Pastry Chef Ruchit Harneja. Harneja created custom Rangoli-art food molds that pay homage to the Indian folk art.
Pondicheri will be celebrating the Indian holiday for an entire week by offering the Araam Thali special. The Thali (think, sampler platter) will feature vegetable market curry, herb pooris, sindhi dal, okra, and a sweet rose laddu. Patrons can also satisfy their sweet tooth with malai cheesecake, or opt for a Diwali sweet box which will contain classic Indian treats such as besan mithai, sindhi laddu, and chocolate peanut mithai.
Pondicheri, 2800 Kirby Drive, Suite b132. Wednesday, November 3 through Sunday, November 7. For more information, visit, https://www.pondicheri.com.
Special Reading of The Diwali Gift at The Woodland's Children's Museum
In celebration of Diwali, the Woodlands Children's Museum will host a special reading of The Diwali Gift, by Shweta Chopra and Shuchi Mehta. The children's book tells the story about three curious monkeys highlighting Indian culture, and the traditions and celebrations that are part of this holiday.
The Woodland's Children's Museum, 4775 West Panther Creek Drive #280, The Woodlands, TX 77381. Thursday, November 4 at 11:00 a.m. Admission starts at $7. For more information, visit the website.