Utah’s Hindus light up the night


Utah’s Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple in South Jordan hosted hundreds of believers Friday evening for one of the faith’s most sacred holidays, Diwali, or “festival of lights.”

The festival, occurring on the new moon between mid-October and mid-November, is somewhat akin to the Christian Christmas, Jewish Hanukkah, Thanksgiving or New Year’s. It celebrates the triumph of Lord Krishna over the demon who personifies all of life’s ills.

On this day, the temple is lit with colorful candles and the Ganesh (or elephant god) statue is adorned with garlands of flowers, while worshippers feast, chant, dance and offer special prayers to Lakshmi, the Goddess of Good Fortune who brings prosperity, good luck and happiness for the coming year.