New York’s Largest Diwali Block Party



Fireworks light up the sky for Diwali in New York

New York’s Largest Diwali Block Party


Diwali comes to New York

It’s the biggest block party in America with a desi touch. In fact, it’s become an American tradition – the AIA Deepavali Mela at South Street Seaport where thousands of people of Indian origin gather to celebrate their most important festival – Diwali. Having been to many Diwali Melas in India, I can attest this is as big, as grand and as fun as the ones back in India.

Crowds at AIA Deepavali Mela

Crowds at AIA Deepavali Mela


The Association of Indians in America, the oldest Indian organization in the US,  has been putting on this massive all-day celebration of food, dance and fireworks for the past 26 years – and many are the young adults who’ve grown up with this tradition every October.  This huge event which is free to everyone draws many non-Indians too into the celebrations of this festival of joy and lights. The idea is to familiarize the larger community about this Indian festival.


A food fest at AIA Deepavali Mela

A food fest at AIA Deepavali Mela



The World’s Largest Bhangra Party with DJ Rekha

Indians are also famous for making and breaking records of all kinds and this year you also get to dance with DJ Rekha and set the Guinness World Record for the largest Outdoor Bhangra party! The ARChive of Contemporary Music in partnership with Columbia University and Gracenote has created India Music Week (Oct 6 -13, 2013) with music events throughout the week. As part of it, New York’s popular DJ Rekha will get every desi and non-desi  on the huge dance floor. So this is the time to start brushing up your moves.

Singer Sharda with DJ Rekha, AIA members Asmita Bhatia, Divya Shah & writer Lavina Melwani

Singer Sharda with DJ Rekha, AIA members Asmita Bhatia, Divya Shah & writer Lavina Melwani at a launch event in the Indian Consulate


For star aspirants there’s also a live audition with celebrities Pankhuri and Omi Vaidya.  If you are a music fan, you’ll surely remember the singing artist Sharda whose number ‘Titli Udi’ was such a hit. Looking as sleek as ever, Sharda is back in New York. Her passion is to teach children about life through children’s poems and songs which are age-appropriate rather than from bawdy Bollywood songs. She is planning children’s workshops at the mela. So get yourselves to a day of fun and nostalgia at the South Street Seaport, with booths, performances and food, and of course ending with a spectacular fireworks display which will light up New York.  Bring grandparents and grandchildren, and parents just starting a family.

It’s a time to honor old traditions and create new ones.

Watch the upcoming events at AIA Deepavali Mela


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

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