Cupertino community comes together to celebrate Diwali for the first time in two years


Source: Cupertino Chamber of Commerce

Natalie Marques, Freelancer

Cupertino held the first Diwali Festival since the start of the pandemic on Oct.  16, bringing food, stalls, performances and activities in honor of celebrating this holiday. 

Diwali is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil and is recognized as a time for good luck. This makes it a very important holiday and is meant to be a time for families and friends to come together. 

This festival is a tradition for the city of Cupertino, with some attendees coming for years. 

“I live close by and I usually come with family, but now my kids are grown up so I come by myself and look around,” said Cupertino local Neelam Vijay. “I love looking at all the clothes and jewelry not only to buy it but to see everything and get the feel of it.”

Local businesses were given a chance to promote themselves and make some sales as well. Vendors sold all sorts of things such as clothes, jewelry and decorations. 

Twins Tanvi and Aanya Mehta, 16, have grown up in this community and this year became vendors at the festival. 

“We live in Cupertino, so we’ve been coming here every year ever since we were born,” Aanya said. 

“Last year we started an environmental initiative and we created a website to sell our products,” Tanvi said. “This festival was the first opportunity we had to sell our bags in-person and we are grateful for it.”

Along with the food and vendors, there were games for the children to enjoy. These included bungee jumping, virtual reality games and human hamster balls. 

There were also plenty of performers of all ages showing off their talents. Singers and dancers performed and kept the crowd entertained.

Attendees came from all over the Bay Area to partake in this cultural event. 

Attendee Ariella Jessel came with her family from Oakland to enjoy the festival.  

“It’s a great day and it’s a nice cultural event with plenty of things to look at,” Jessel said. “So far our favorite part was the dancers and the activities for the kids.”

As the event meant for the community to come together, many people were happy to see things going back to normal after being separated for the last couple of years. 

Satheesh Madhathil, board member of the Cupertino School District, was in attendance and was enjoying everything the festival had to offer. 

“It’s been two years since the last event, and this is the first year back and it’s a bigger turnout than we expected,” Madhathill said. “It’s been great to see everyone. Our kids are having fun, and there’s good food and a lot of Indian stuff to look at. Overall, it’s been a good day.”