Fermilab celebrates the Festival of Lights

Everything glows during Diwali. Diyas (oil lamps) flicker in homes. Children light sparklers. Families and friends share sweets, savories and snacks.

Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights,” marks one of the biggest celebrations in the Indian subcontinent. Diwali has become a national festival that is enjoyed by many, regardless of their faith.

On Oct. 12 at Kuhn Barn, Fermilab celebrated this wonderful event. A total of 150 people enjoyed the festivities. There was an authentic and delicious Indian dinner, dandiya (stick) Indian dancing, arts and crafts, and even a mehndi (henna tattoos) station.

Reactions were highly positive:

  • Sikha Banerjee, attendee and volunteer: “Everyone gave so much effort for the festival and it was a great great success. Thank you very much!”
  • Dawn Staszak, Fermilab employee: “I loved the opportunity to expose my children to different cultures first-hand. It’s one thing for them to learn about culture on TV or in school, but at this event they got to have a hands on experience of the culture.”
  • Elliott McCrory, event photographer: “It was a remarkable event for me. I have never before experienced Diwali.”
  • Amit, scientific user from Nepal: “I ate four samosas!!”

It was an honor to celebrate this beautiful holiday at Fermilab and to further strengthen harmony, unity and togetherness among all our employees and families to celebrate Fermilab’s cultural and religious diversity.

Many thanks to Alpana Shenai, Farah Fahim and Jessica Jensen for coordinating this event. We also thank the efforts of the Global Services Department. We especially thank Elliot McCrory for taking photos.

Events like this bring out the community spirit of Fermilab, which was reflected in the diverse nationality of the volunteers and attendees.

J. Charles Thangaraj is the IARC science and technology manager and a member of the Festival of Lights Planning Committee

View a gallery below, and view many more photos taken by Elliott McCrory.

  • Farah Fahim and Sikha Bannerjee serve Indian food at the Festival of Lights. Photo: Elliott McCrory
    Farah Fahim and Sikha Bannerjee serve Indian food at the Festival of Lights. Photo: Elliott McCrory