U.S. President Donald Trump will celebrate Diwali at the White House Oct. 24, three days ahead of the formal celebrations of the festival of lights in India.
Press Trust of India reports that this would be Trump’s third Diwali celebrations at the White House, a tradition that began with his predecessor Barack Obama in 2009.
According to the White House, Trump will participate in the Diwali celebrations by lighting a ceremonial ‘diya’ (lamp). No other details of the celebrations were immediately available, the report said.
Trump’s first Diwali celebrations at the White House was in his Oval Office in 2017 in the presence of a select group of Indian American community leaders and members of his administration.
Last year, Trump invited the then Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Singh Sarna for the Diwali celebrations in the Roosevelt room, it said.
Other Diwali celebrations have already began in the U.S., with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott celebrating the festival of lights Oct. 19 with the Indian American community.
“We lit Diwali lamps on display in the Governor’s Mansion. We discussed Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s visit to Texas. We celebrated the victory of light over darkness,” he said in a tweet.
In 2017, after lighting the ceremonial ‘diya’, Trump hailed the Indian community’s contribution in different fields.
“You have made extraordinary contributions to art, science, medicine, business and education. America is especially thankful for its many Indian-American citizens who serve bravely in our armed forces and as first responders in communities throughout our great land,” he said, according to PTI.