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Advocate to host Festival of Lights

BARRINGTON – The Festival of Lights, also known as Diwali or Deepavali, is the most popular and most celebrated festival of India.

Although the festival originally was a Hindu celebration, Diwali now is considered more of a national festival, enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith.

In observance of the Festival of Lights celebration, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital will welcome classical Indian dancer Shuchi Kumar to perform at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 16 in the chapel of the hospital, 450 W. Route 22, Barrington.

The event is open to the public.

Kumar recently graduated from the Mudra Dance Academy, where she studied for the past 10 years under Kshama Shah. Her study focused on the classical Indian dance form, bharatanatyam, known for its spiritual symbolism and graceful poses.

“This dance – bharatanatyam – takes over 10 years to learn and perfect. Bharatanatyam was performed only in the temple for centuries, and only in recent years has it been admitted to public places,” said the Rev. Fred Rajan of the Office for Mission and Spiritual Care at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

The Festival of Lights usually occurs between October and November. The name, Deepavali, translates into “row of lamps.” Deepavali involves the lighting of small, clay lamps (or candles today) to signify the triumph of good over evil. Celebrators clean their homes and display lights to welcome the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Families don extravagant clothing and share sweet treats in celebration.

For information, call 847-381-0123.

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