A Celebration of Light at the MFA


It’s dark when you wake up in the morning and dark when you get home from work.

Which makes it the perfect time to celebrate light, especially if you are doing it at the Museum of Fine Arts which is hosting a Diwali celebration on Wednesday, November 2.

“Diwali is the celebration of Light in many different parts of the world,” explained Linda Apple, the Museum’s Director of Volunteer and Community Programs, in an interview with Color Magazine. “Some of the world’s oldest religions— Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains—light a diya (oil lamp) with family and friends to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.”

The Diwali celebration at the MFA is being held from 5-10 PM on Nov. 2 so people can take advantage of the museum’s free admission after 4 PM policy. All the events scheduled that evening are also free.

“We really like to tie in an event like this with the exhibits we have up, so people get a chance to walk through ad look at our collection of South Asian art,” Apple explained. “Some of the people there, both staff and neighborhood leaders, will be on hand to help people make the connection between the art and the celebration.’
One of the more interesting ways of making the connection between art and the Diwali celebration will take place when author Anjali Mitter Duva presents excerpts from her book, Faint Promise of Rain, while dancer Anjali Nath brings the story to life. Members of the Chhandika Youth Ensemble, Mike Jarjoura on sitar and Rajesh Pai on table, will provide musical accompaniment.

Those guest who like to make art, and not just look at it, will have the chance on Nov. 2, too. “There will be a class where people can make their own Ganesha,” Apple said, then added, “He’s the god of good fortune, the remover of obstacles, traditionally shown with the head of an elephant and four human arms. I think it’s a great way to add a personal touch to your visit for the festival.”


Tour the galleries exploring highlights from the collection of South Asian art, watch festive performances of classical dance and folk dance, and make art with artist and educator Sunanda Sahay. The list of events being held for Diwali at the MFA is far too detailed to talk about in a single interview, so Apple suggest anyone interested go to mfa.org and type Diwali into the site’s search engine. There you’ll find a complete list of thing you can do at Diwali. Or perhaps, instead of making too many plans, it’s better if you show up on Nov. 2 and see where the festival takes you.