WHEREAS it is the intention of the Mayor and Council of Cherry Hill Township to focus attention on noteworthy occasions and individuals; and
WHEREAS Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated annually by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists throughout India, United States of America, and across the globe; and
WHEREAS the word Diwali is a shortened version of Sanskrit word “Deepavali,” which means row of lamps; and
WHEREAS the Diwali festival is celebrated with great joy by the Hindus as welcoming Lord Rama, incarnation of God after he returns defeating demon Ravana, Victory of ‘Dharma’ righteousness over ‘Adharma’ non- righteousness (or victory of Good over evil); and
WHEREAS Hindus also worship Goddess Laxmi on this day for prosperity, knowledge, peace, and removal of all darkness of evil. Some Hindus also celebrate it as a beginning of new financial year; and
WHEREAS for Sikhs, Diwali is celebrated as the day that the sixth founding Sikh Guru, or revered teacher, Guru Hargobind, was released from captivity by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir; and
WHEREAS for Jains, Diwali marks the anniversary of the attainment of moksha, or liberation, by Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankaras (the great teachers of Jain dharma), at the end of his life in 527 B.C.; and
WHEREAS for Buddhists, especially Newar Buddhists, Diwali is commemorated as Ashok Vijayadashami, the day the great Emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism as his faith; and
WHEREAS the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist communities as well as other people of diverse ethnicities constitute a vital part of Cherry Hill Township’s social fabric and whose languages, cultures, and religious beliefs have enriched our communities; and
WHEREAS the Township is proud and honored to wish all celebrants a joyful and prosperous Diwali this and every year.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHUCK CAHN, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the Township of Cherry Hill, County of Camden, State of New Jersey, do hereby recognize November 7, 2018 as
Diwali Awareness Day
in the Township of Cherry Hill, and do urge all citizens to join with me and Council in recognizing the contributions of all Hindu, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists active in all aspects of our vibrant economy and civic society.