New Delhi: It is our honor to be the first president and first lady to light a diya together in the White House to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights that is observed by more than one billion Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in the United States, India, and around the world.
Like many cherished holidays during the pandemic, we know this year’s Diwali carries an even deeper meaning.
To those who have lost loved ones, we hope this sacred time provides comfort and purpose in their memory.
To those who celebrate here in America, we are grateful to you for making the traditions of Diwali part of America’s story. For generations, you have opened your homes and hearts during Diwali to exchange gifts and sweets, host feasts with family and friends, and organize cultural programs in our communities – with prayers and dances, vibrant and colorful art, and sparklers and fireworks – that bring us all together.
May the spirit of Diwali remind us that out of darkness there is light in knowledge, wisdom, and truth. From division, there is unity in common bonds of empathy and compassion. From isolation, there is community in the connections we share as we look out for one another and hope, dream, and believe in possibilities.
That spirit is what we reflected upon in the simple act of lighting a diya, a small candle that carries such profound meaning. From the People’s House to yours, may the light shine within us all as a powerful source of healing, repair, and renewal – a light that shines on who we are and what we can be at our best as a people and a nation.
On behalf of our family, we wish you a happy Diwali.