SAN ANTONIO – A festival that celebrates the traditions of India is returning to downtown San Antonio this fall.
Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights will be held on Nov. 4 at Arneson River Theater and Hemisfair, marking its 15th year. The free event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to midnight.
The City of San Antonio and Anuja SA cohost the festival, which highlights San Antonio’s sister-city agreement with Chennai, India.
Visitors can experience traditional Indian dance and entertainment in addition to food and merchant booths from various parts of India, according to Visit San Antonio.
“San Antonio is honored to support Diwali SA,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a news release. “This is more than a festival to our city. This event further connects our community by displaying the comradery that is reflected in the City of San Antonio’s alliance with Chennai, India as a Sister-City.”
“Diwali is a reminder that unity through the promise of positivity and light in the face of any diversity can be overcome with friendship and solidarity. It is with a much joy that I wish families, friends, and everyone celebrating this season, a very Happy Diwali,” he added.
The Anuja SA website describes the diya ceremony as a traditional candle lighting and release.
Anuja SA has played a significant role in fostering relationships between San Antonio and Chennai in the areas of arts and culture, medicine, education, business and commerce, and sports and recreation, the release said.
“We are excited about celebrating the 15th Anniversary of DiwaliSA at the new Civic Park in Hemisfair,” Anuja SA President Kausi Subramaniam said in the release. “This year’s event will feature more entertainment than ever before and a few surprises as well.”
Attendance for Diwali San Antonio exceeded 40,000 visitors in 2019 prior to the coronavirus pandemic.