While Diwali festivities usually bring together hundreds in the local Hindu community, this year’s celebrations had to consider safety first.
That’s why the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Melville provided live, interactive programs throughout the holiday season to bring the community together while suggesting activities that each family could partake in and share with others online.
One such activity was the observation of New Year’s Day which occurs the day after Diwali. BAPS mandirs celebrate this day by offering Annakut (“Mountains of Food”) to the sacred images within the shrines of the mandir. Instead of bringing the good to the mandir this year, families were encouraged to make fresh vegetarian delicacies and offer them to the images that are kept at home, sharing pictures of this and other Diwali activities online.
As a part of its ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, the organization’s humanitarian arm, BAPS Charities, organized a food drive and requested that people bring non-perishable food items to help those most affected by the pandemic.