As important in India as Christmas is in North America, Diwali was celebrated for the sixth time at the Maple Ridge Library on Saturday.
Diwali is sometimes known as the festival of lights and represents the triumph of good over evil.
There was no need to be from India, however, or have any knowledge of cultural events in that part of the world, to enjoy the celebration.
The family-oriented event is put on cooperatively by the library and the Family Education and Support Centre.
"We have been partnering with the library for six years to put on this event," noted family ed's Jassy Maghera.
It has seen increased attendance over the years as people take in the entertainment, activities, and food, while they learn about Indian culture.
"The crowd has grown," said Maple Ridge Councillor Michael Morden. "It is at least double the amount of people from the first time I came," four years ago.
A number of other dignitaries attended including the mayors of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, as well as councillors from both commun-ities.
"Today in India, a billion people celebrate with many lights and food and festivities," said Dr. Biju Mathew.
"Now, Diwali is celebrated globally. Even Obama celebrates Diwali at the White House."
Food for the festival has been sponsored by Mathew and the Ridge Meadows South Asian Cultural Society since the event's inception.
Performers, volunteers, helpers and attendees weren't just from the local community. Some came from Surrey, Abbotsford, and beyond.
"Last week she [co-organizer Minakshi Sidhu, of the library] told me about the event and I said I would come," said Pam Birk, who drew henna tattoos on a number of guests with the help of her daughter.
Refreshments included traditional dishes like samosas, jalebis, cholays, and besan along with non-traditional pizza which was provided by Mona Pizza.
The kids' craft activity was painting small clay pots. Clay pots are part of the celebration of Diwali in that they are often the container for candles as part of the celebration of light.
"We came so she can get a taste of other cultures," said Rosa Diaz of why she brought her daughter, four-year-old Emma Sala to the event. "She's so young and has asked about pictures of other cultures."
"It was awesome," summarized four-year-old Trey Vanderkooi of attending the event with his family.