The Indian community is gearing up for its annual celebration of Diwali, known as the "festival of lights."
For Hindus, the five-day celebration is one of the most important cultural events of the year. Families often celebrate by performing cultural traditions at home. Diwali celebrations typically take place between mid-October and mid-November around the world.
The name "Diwali" comes from the Sanskrit word "Deepavali," which translates into "row of lamps." Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali, celebrants typically wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.
This year, the holiday is observed from Oct. 26 to 30.
The Fremont Hindu Temple, located at 3676 Delaware Dr. in Fremont, is getting a head start with a two-day festival this weekend.
Each year, thousands from all over the Bay Area gather at the temple for a cultural program and mela, or gathering, which features food, jewelry and handicrafts booths.
The mela will be held at the temple on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to program coordinator Vijaya Aasuri, the cultural program will feature more than 80 groups performaning classical, folk and Bollywood song and dance numbers.
The cultural program will be held across from the temple at Grimmer Elementary School. It will feature a children's program and competition from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the rest of the program from 1 to 8 p.m. On Sunday, the children's program will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the rest of the program running until 5 p.m.
Parking will be available at both the temple and elementary school, Aasuri said.
For more information, visit www.fremonttemple.org.
Zoneil Maharaj contributed to this report.