INDIA ABROAD November 3, 2017 21 INDIAN-AMERICAN AFFAIRS
Above, the grand Annakut display at the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) temple in Beltsville, Md., Oct.
20. Over 1,000 vegetarian and vegan dishes were offered to Lord Swaminarayan as a mark of gratitude and appreciation. The food offered
at Annakut resembles a mountain, metaphorically representing the Govardhan mountain. Left, a priest at the Beltsville temple performs
arati. Diwali, a five-day celebration of various traditional ceremonies, welcomes the New Year for Hindus and celebrates the triumph of
good over evil. For many visitors, the most popular attraction and a highlight of the festivities is the Annakut festival. Below left, Diwali
celebration at the Pennsylvania State Capitol, in Harrisburg, Penn., Oct. 20. The event was coordinated by the BAPS temples in conjunction
with Republican State Senator Chuck McIlhinney of the 10th District. Below right, a volunteer helps a guest with tying the sacred thread at
a Diwali event at the BAPS temple in Bartlett, Ill., Oct. 20.
Left, kids participate in the arati during Annakut darshan at the BAPS temple in Edison, N.J. Oct. 22. Right, devotees offer prayers at the temple. In addition to the Annakut, Diwali celebrations this year
included spiritual and cultural events and a children’s fair with food, games and fun activities. The celebrations culminated with fireworks.
BAPS temples across the U.S. celebrated Diwali with traditional
ceremonies marking the triumph of good over evil Devotional Diwali