The West Virginia University Indian Students Association will celebrate Tarang 2004, the Diwali festival of lights, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

Designed to educate people about Indias diverse customs and traditions, the event will feature dances, cultural shows and authentic Indian cuisine.

Diwali is the most well-known Indian festival that is celebrated throughout the country,said Varun Prasad, ISA member.It symbolizes that age-old culture of the country, which teaches one to vanquish ignorance that subdues humanity and to drive away darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge.

In India, the festival ushers in the Hindu new year. The wordDiwalicomes from Sanskrit words meaning a row of lights. During the celebration, homes in India are lit with diyas, or small earthen lamps, to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Tickets for the Diwali celebration are $10 with a WVU student ID, $15 for non-students, and may be purchased Thursday and Friday, Nov. 11-12, at the following times and locations:

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mountainlair commons area
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Room G40 in the Engineering Sciences Building on the Evansdale campus
  • 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Health Sciences Center Cafeteria

Tickets are also available at International Groceries and Spices Inc. and Kassars Store.

For more information, contact Prasad at 304-685-4267 or .