This is an important reminder to anyone planning on visiting an American Embassy/Consulate in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Gyuana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, or Fiji that the U.S. Embassies/Consulates will be closed on Tuesday November 13, 2012 the in observance of the Hindu holiday of Diwali.

Popularly known as the “festival of lights,” Diwali is a five day festival celebrated based on the lunar cycles of the Hindu calendar and marks the beginning of the Hindu new year.  Many local businesses will remain closed for the full five days in observance of religious festivities.

The origins of Diwali can be traced back to Hindu mythology involving stories of heroic escapades and rescue – in short, the victory of good over evil.  Contracted from the word “Deepavali” in Sanskrit, which translates into “row of lamps,” Diwali is typically celebrated with the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph light over darkness.

And so, candles are lit, lights are strung and celebrations ensue among Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists around the world in celebration of Diwali.  In India, the country with the largest Hindu population, the national holiday will be celebrated with extravagant fireworks displays, people paying homage at temples, homes decorated with fresh flowers, candles and lights, and the sharing of gifts and sweets among friends and loved ones.

From all of us at Fox Rothschild, we wish you and yours the warmest of Diwali wishes.  May this Diwali light up your New Year with happiness, success, and prosperity!

diwali diyas

To check local embassy closure please visit the Department of state website to view your specific embassy’s holiday observances/closures prior to making your travel plans at the Department of State’s Website