Diwali Festival to come to Queens this weekend with fun for all ages

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Photos courtesy of Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Town Hall will host its annual Diwali Festival on Saturday, Nov. 5. 

The festival, welcoming people of all ages and cultures, will include a dance party featuring Kathak classical dancer Abha Roy and Bharatanatyam dancer Ishita Mili, as well as its second annual Rangoli Design competition.

The Diwali Festival at Flushing Town Hall has been led by master of Kathak dance, teacher and artistic director of the Srijan Dance Company, Abha Roy since its early years. Roy studied under Guru Kundan Lal Gangani and attained professional precision under the training of Pt. Durgalal when she completed her specialization in Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. She also represented the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and has taught and performed over the globe. Roy will share the stage with the Ishita Mili Global Exposé. New to the festival this year, IMGE uses Indian classical moves, as well as hip-hop and contemporary dance to tell new and powerful global stories through a dance language that can speak to anyone.

Attendees can enjoy a dance party with instruction on traditional moves from Roy and Mili, as well as explore traditional rangoli design with artist Anju Gupta and savor Indian foods with Queens Curry Kitchen, and discover ayurvedic treatments with Shweta Parmar. 

Director of Education and Public Programs at Flushing Town Hall Gabrielle M. Hamilton eagerly said of the upcoming event, “We are excited to celebrate Diwali with our audiences, to welcome new performers, and to display the great Rangoli submissions we’ve received through our competition this year. We will be selecting artwork in five categories (kids, teenagers, adults, seniors, and professional artists) and displaying their winning designs along our exterior fence along Northern Boulevard.”

Flushing Town Hall will present the artwork of the winners of its Rangoli Design Competition. Rangoli is an age-old art form from India. Derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “rows of colors,” rangoli is a celebratory Hindu art form usually drawn in homes or courtyards in hopes of inviting blessings from the gods. A jury will select one winner in each group, who will have their work displayed and will receive free, one-year memberships to Flushing Town Hall and pairs of tickets to any upcoming programs of their choice. 

The Indian holiday of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a day of solidarity, where the soft light of diyas illuminates the city, banishing the darkness of ignorance and suffering. It began as a part of an ancient harvest festival, which celebrated the fertility of the earth and the prosperity of the new harvest. Though Diwali has taken on a significant meaning in Hinduism, in India it is celebrated by all as a time of renewal and growth.

The eighth annual Diwali Festival will be held in person and also streamed live on YouTube for audiences all over the world. 

Anyone can purchase in-person tickets to attend the Festival, taking place on Saturday, Nov. 5, for the 11 a.m. show or the 2 p.m. show at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, Queens. 

In-person tickets are $15 and $10 for members of Flushing Town Hall and children. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they will not be available at the door. Virtual tickets are $7 and $5 for members. Visit flushingtownhall.org/diwali-festival for more details and to purchase tickets.