Diwali SA Festival of Lights returns to Hemisfair for in-person celebration

The event was virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Crowds of people filled the Hemisfair to celebrate the 13th annual Diwali SA Festival of Light. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The traditional lights and sounds of Diwali filled the air at Hemisfair on Saturday.

From Alamo Street to the Tower of Americas, beautiful twinkling lights from the 13th annual Diwali SA Festival illuminated the night.

Diwali is akin to New Year’s Eve and it represents the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

Candles representing wishes, called diyas, were also released into the fountains by revelers.

“I plan to release a diya, making a wish for peace and happiness and love to be shared among all of us here in San Antonio and beyond,” Pallavi Nemani, one of the Diwali festival organizers, said. “And it’s…that’s really what it is, a wish for peace and prosperity for all.”

This year’s festival is smaller than in years past, but organizers said they are happy to be celebrating in person after going virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guests enjoyed music, dances, traditional food, and got to partake in tattoos by henna artists.

Diwali is celebrated every year on the first Saturday of November.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.