One festival, many celebrations

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Diwali is celebrated by lighting candles and nowadays, fireworks are set off.

While many communities celebrate the festival to commemorate the return of Lord Rama from his 14 years of exile, there are various other stories and rituals associated with it. This year, Pence hosted an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House.

"Today, we proudly celebrate this holiday in the people's house".

"It basically represents the triumph of good over evil", said Dr. Suresh Kumar mentioning that Diwali is one of the important festivals celebrated by the community, festivity of which spreads over a period of three to five days. "America is especially thankful for its many Indian-American citizens who serve bravely in our armed forces and as first responders in communities throughout our great land", he said. A time of peace and prosperity for the New Year, it is a tradition that is held dear by more than one billion Hindus worldwide and more than two million Hindus in the United States.

Bhubaneswar: Taking place on October 19 this year in accordance to the Hindu lunar calendar is India's biggest festival, Diwali. "In doing so, we reaffirm that Indian-Americans and Hindu-Americans are truly cherished, treasured and beloved members of our great American family".

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Acknowledging the contributions of the Indian American community, Trump said, "Our Indian-American neighbors and friends have made incredible contributions to our country - and to the world".

"We are in little position to throw lavish parties, however, do come together to celebrate at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir", she said mentioning that youngsters often arrange music shows on self help basis. "On the day of Diwali, we do puja of Ganpati and Lakshmi at our home in the evening and offer homemade candies", says Archna Malani from Deepshikha Mahila Club.

In the first year of his presidency, former president Barack Obama lit the ceremonial Diya in the East Room of the White House. They believe in the President's agenda when it comes to issues like tax reform, Shah added. "There is some unconfirmed reporting which is inaccurate", he said. The President lighting the Diwali lamps at the White House denoted a public display of the extension of American diversity.

President Bush never personally participated in the White House Diwali celebrations.