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Hindu festival of Diwali will be celebrated in chapel

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009, 7:30 p.m. University Chapel

A celebration and worship service in honor of the Hindu festival of Diwali will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in the University Chapel.

This year's celebration builds on last year's observance, which was the first time an official Diwali service was held in the chapel.

Diwali, which is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, is a harvest festival often considered to be the Hindu New Year and the most important holiday on the Hindu calendar. Because Hindus follow a lunar calendar, the holiday is observed on a different day each year. While the holiday fell on Oct. 17 this year, the Diwali event in Princeton's chapel is being held later to provide a larger opportunity to share Hindu traditions with a broader audience, according to organizers.

The chapel event will include devotional music, sacred readings, classical Indian dance and a traditional Hindu worship service. It will feature University students, faculty and staff, as well as local Princeton residents and members of the broader Hindu community in central New Jersey. The event will include performances by Swaranjali, a student group dedicated to Indian classical music, and Kalaa, the University's classical Indian dance company. Princeton professor of mathematics Manjul Bhargava will play the tabla (an Indian drum) and lecturer in anthropology Mekhala Natavar will perform a dance in Kathak style.

The event is hosted by the Office of Religious Life and organized by the recently created Hindu Life Program. For more information contact Vineet Chander, coordinator for Hindu life.

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