Mall of India hosts fourth annual Spirit of Diwali festival


More than 35 vendors from around the U.S. came to sell products at the Spirit of Diwali festival at the Mall of India in Naperville on Oct. 23 and 24. Among the most popular vendors were those selling clothing and jewelry.

Sarayu Suresh, Staff Writer

The fourth annual Spirit of Diwali festival was held at the Mall of India on Ogden Avenue near the Fox Valley Mall on Oct. 23-24, featuring vendors and music. 

The event was hosted in celebration of the Indian festival of lights. Diwali celebrates the victory of the Hindu god Ram against the evil spirit, Ravana.  

“It’s just an effort to try and keep the joy and happiness alive, while enjoying the victory of good over evil,” said Ritika Aurora, a co-host of the event.  

Many different states across India were represented at the event. 

“The crowd was from all parts of India,” said Dharmista Patel, a clothing vendor at the event. “It felt like being part of India, away from India.” 

Compared to previous years, the turnout has increased. 

“The turnout was definitely much more, because  of the fact that people didn’t get the chance to get out and really enjoy Diwali during the lockdowns, and now they do,” Aurora said. 

While the event drew a good turnout, some say that it could have been advertised better. 

“I wish there were more advertisements. I didn’t even know this was happening until one of my friends told me,” says Abha Tiwari, a visitor at the event. 

There were around 35 vendors at the event from different parts of the U.S. Out of them all, the clothing and jewelry sold at the event was a highlight for many guests.

“I loved the jewelry. You usually don’t see Indian jewelry like this in the U.S.,” said Tiwari. 

Many political figures, including Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois’ 8th District, and Suresh Reddy, trustee of Oak Brook village, attended the event as well. 

At the event, Reddy proclaimed Oct. 24 as Spirit of Diwali day in the village of Oakbrook, on behalf of Oakbrook Village President Gopal Lalmani. 

“It was just a really proud moment,” Aurora said. 

For next year Aurora hopes to expand the event more. 

“For next year, I am looking forward to coming up with more creative ideas and I’ll see how it goes from there,” Aurora said.

Update: Ritika Aurora’s title was originally listed as ” organizer” and was corrected to “co-host” on Nov. 12.