Michelle Obama To Host Hindu Festival for Goddess of Wealth at White House

By Penny Starr | November 4, 2013 | 5:03pm EST

Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, honored during "Diwali," the Hindu festival of lights.

(CNSNews.com) – First Lady Michelle Obama is hosting an event on Tuesday to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali, or “festival of lights,” to honor Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Hindus celebrate by placing small earthenware oil lamps called “diyas” in their homes to help the goddess find her way, according to the BBC’s online home schooling curriculum website.

“In India Hindus will leave the windows and doors of their houses open so that Lakshmi can come in,” the website states.

Diwali also marks the first day of the business year “and some Hindus will say prayers to the goddess for a successful year,” the website states.

According to the Hindu American Foundation, there are approximately 2.29 million Hindus in the United States or 0.72 percent of the U.S. population of 314 million.

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