Washington DC: As Diwali - the festival of lights - is being celebrated in India and across the world by thousands of Indians, US President Barack Obama today wished those celebrating the festival a Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak .
Here is the statement by the President on the occasion of Diwali:
Today, here in America and around the world, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists will celebrate the holiday of Diwali - the festival of lights. Many who observe this holiday do so by lighting the Diya, or lamp, which symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. I was proud to be the first President the mark Diwali and light the Diya at the White House, and last year Michelle and I were honoured to join in Diwali celebrations during our visit to India.
Diwali is a time for gathering with family and friends and - as we experienced in India - celebrating with good food and dancing. It is also a time for contemplation and prayer that serves as a reminder of our obligations to our fellow human beings, especially the less fortunate. To all who are observing this sacred holiday here and around the world, Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak.