Washington DC: Hindu Heritage Month is a global coming together of Hindus every year during the month of October to celebrate their rich heritage and foster unity among diverse communities. Started in 2013, today, it is a global movement that highlights Hinduism as a tradition and the contributions Hinduism has made to human society, and continues to do so.
It takes place in October every year, as this is the month of festivals according to the Hindu calendar. People celebrate Navaratri, Dussehra, Karva Chauth, Deepavali, and Bhai Dooj, among other auspicious days.
While in Chicago, Hindus came together to organize a “Shobha Yatra” – a celebratory procession – on the 8th of October, other states in America are celebrating it on their own chosen days.
The “Shobha Yatra” became a beautiful sight, as members of the diaspora from around the Chicago area gathered at Swami Vivekanand Marg, near the Art Institute of Chicago. This was of particular significance, as this is where Swami Vivekananda delivered his famous speech on what being a Hindu means, at the World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893.
Community members of all ages and walks of life came together, in bright traditional attire, complete with colourful bindis and tilak. In the middle of all, standing tall and high, was the “Bhagwa Dhwaj” – the Saffron Flag. The crowd moved to the rhythm of the dhol and tasha pathak performing traditional beats.
Even though it is early fall with seasonally low temperatures in the windy city, the atmosphere on Michigan Avenue was electrified by the Shobha Yatra. The team of 75+ participants, organizers, and the drums troupe made for a colourful and heartwarming event. The local law enforcement and administration helped conduct the Shobha Yatra to make another successful event for the Chicagoland Hindu community. Hindu Heritage Month is a celebration of the Hindu faithful in more than 32 states and 91 congressional districts in the US. Processions, melas, exhibitions, and events, work really well as platforms to celebrate this beautiful culture and the incomparable contribution of Hindus to American society.