Diwali New York: A Festival of Light

By Go City Expert

Have you experienced Diwali in New York yet? Many cultures have festivities that celebrate the triumph of light over dark, or good over evil. They’re especially prevalent this time of year, when the days get shorter and the sun seems to set at 3 PM. Coming up this week is Diwali in New York, which will see the city set aglow as a result of The Festival of Light. Keep reading for all the details on what it is and how to celebrate.

So, what is Diwali?

Diwali, sometimes known as Deepavali or Dipavali, is the five-day festival of lights; it celebrates the triumph of light over darkness. (The word ”diwali” comes from a word in Sanskrit meaning “rows of lighted lamps.”) It’s celebrated by religions around the world, including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. While the different faiths celebrate different events and stories, they all celebrate knowledge over ignorance; good over evil. It celebrates the return of King Rama’s defeat of Ravana, a multi-headed demon king, by lighting clay lamps. The actual days are dictated by the Hindu lunar calendar; this year it’s being celebrated on Sunday, Oct. 27.

How is Divali celebrated?

You’ll often see temples, shops, and even office buildings lit up. The preparations and the festival itself can take up to five days. Tasks include cleaning and decorating homes, preparing a meal, exchanging gifts, and make offerings to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. Celebrations often include worship ceremonies, religious rituals, meals, and sweets; you’ll also see firework displays, as well as Rangoli—patterns created on the floor, using colored powder or rice.

What foods are eaten on Diwali?

Sweets are very important on this holiday. Ones often eaten include Kheer (a kind of rice pudding, often flavored with cardamom, raisins, and nuts); gulab jamun (a sweet made primarily from milk solids); and Shankarpali (a kind of fried cookie). Yum.

Are there any Diwali celebrations in New York?

Yes! You can find Diwali celebrations throughout the city.

  • October 27 from 6 -9 PM: The Bhakti Center (25 1st Avenue) will offer music and dance performances, henna and face painting booths, and food stalls. It will end with an offering of lamps.
  • October 27: Staten Island Children’s Museum (1000 Richmond Terrace) will offer a celebration for all ages from 1–4 PM. Kids can make their own artwork using different colored sand.
  • And if you just can’t get your act together this month, the celebrations extend until November—check out Camp Friendship’s in Brooklyn from 3:30 – 6 PM.
  • October 25 from noon to 5 PM: Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue) is offering World Culture Festival: Dance!. It celebrates cultures around the world, including The Colors of Krishna’s Love, a puppet show celebrating Diwali that will be offered three times throughout the afternoon.

If you're not ready to leave behind the celebrations just yet, why not check out our blog on the Village Halloween Parade?

Continue reading

Blog

Macy's Parade

Thanksgiving is on the horizon. You can tell because every turkey is on edge. Crossing their claws that they'll be the ones pardoned by the President this year. Thanksgiving is a time to, well, give thanks. Thanks for what we have. It's a time to celebrate too. Unless you're a turkey. And if you're in new york and you're wondering how to spend your well-earned day off, why not go see Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? And when it's over, why not check out Macy's department store. You can have 11% off your purchases, just from us. Here's everything you could ever possibly need to know about it. You are very welcome. We'll start with a little history. History of Macy's Parade The parade started way back in 1924, when the world was black and white, if you believe your TV. Over the last 95 years, the parade has gone from strength to strength. In that time, the parade has only been called off three times. In 1942, 1943, and 1944 due to America's involvement in World War 2. The event was first televised in 1939, and as of today attracts around 50 million TV viewers a year. That's a lot of ad revenue, folks! Over 3.5 million people attend the event in person every year, to see over 8000 people, including celebrities and even some Macy's employees, take part. Viewers will see over 4000 costumes, and the whole shebang takes up over 50,000 hours of labor to put together at Macy's Parade Studio. Where is Macy's Parade? The parade is held every year in New York City. Manhattan, to be exact. It starts at 77th Street and Central Park West, before making its way down to 34th Street and ending at Macy's Herald Square. Why not also check out some attractions you can get in nearby, completely free of charge? And don't forget, you can have 11% off your Macy's purchases with us. When is Macy's Parade? Why youngun, it's on Thanksgiving! That'd be November 28th for all you out-of-towners. Celebrations kick off at 9am sharp, and the parade usually ends at around 12:30pm. It's recommended that you get to the route at around 6am if you want a great spot to watch the proceedings. It might seem early, but you could always stop and get some coffee to perk you up beforehand! What can I expect? Lots of massive balloons along with 26 floats, broadway performances, marching bands, and a whole lotta good times. Planning on going to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, or even taking part? Let us know what you're looking forward to most in the comments below.
Dom Bewley
Blog

Columbus Day Parade In NYC

Columbus Day is a memorial to Christopher Columbus, the explorer widely credited with discovering America. Columbus was born in Italy, and lived from 1451 - 1506 Funded by the Spanish, Columbus was determined to find another route to South Asia. Columbus first lay eyes on America on October 12th, 1492. The rest, as they say, is history. Well, it's all history, but you know what we mean. The first Columbus Day was celebrated in 1792, 300 years later. Better late than never, right? Now you're nourished on some tasty morsels of key knowledge. Use it wisely, likely at the Columbus Day Parade. That's why you clicked this, right? Here's everything you need to know about the Columbus Day Parade in NYC. Celebrate in style. When is it? Why, this very October 14th. Rather than landing on the very day Chris saw the inviting shores of these United States, it takes place on the second Monday of every October. Hence, the 14th. Celebrations commence at 11:30am, and the parade concludes at around 3pm. So get there early if you want a good spot. And where is it? In New York, doy. But where in New York? Oh, sorry. Yes, well the famed parade starts on Fifth Avenue and 44th Street. From there, it heads northward towards 72nd Street. That's where the fun stops, and you officially have to go home. No, not really, it's just where the parade ends, silly! What can I expect? Well, you get to see all the wonders of the parade, don't you? This year is the 75th anniversary of NYC's Columbus Day Parade, so it's sure to be a good one. More than 35,000 people take part in the parade itself, so expect hundreds of floats and more than a handful of bands. You'll be joining around a million other revelers to celebrate, so it shouldn't be too busy. While lots of people like to set up around Central Park to get good views of the parade with surrounding bliss of the park's flora and fauna. But you're really good anywhere along the course. Another alternative is on 67th Street, as there's usually some live music around there. What can I do once it's over? Dry your tears, human. The whole of New York City is still yours to explore. It's a nationwide holiday, so do whatever you want! You could warm-up at your new favorite coffee spot, or brave the sea as Columbus did, and see New York as Columbus may have. The possibilities are endless! Let us know what you're looking forward to doing this Columbus Day in the comments below.
Dom Bewley
Blog

Emmy Award Winners 2019

Once again, the biggest night in television is over. The tuxes are back in the wardrobe, the highest of heels are back on the rack. But who were the Emmy winners in 2019? Well, there were definitely some surprises. Namely, the fact that Game of Thrones managed to win outstanding drama series in its final season, given it was more than a little divisive with fans. Another surprise is that neither Jared Harris nor Stellan Skarsgard managed to win for their career-defining performances in HBO's stellar Chernobyl. Though, thankfully, the writing and directing both took top honors, and Jharrel Jerome's win for When They See Us was fully deserved. Elsewhere, there were further wins for Peter Dinklage, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Without further ado, here are all the Emmy winners for 2019: Emmy Winners 2019: Drama Outstanding Drama Series: Game of Thrones Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Billy Porter - Pose Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Jodie Comer - Killing Eve Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Julia Garner - Ozark Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Jason Bateman - Ozark Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: Jesse Armstrong - Succession Emmy Winners 2019: Comedy Outstanding Comedy Series: Fleabag Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Bill Hader - Barry Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Tony Shalhoub - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Alex Borstein - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Harry Bradbeer - Fleabag Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag Emmy Winners 2019: TV Movie/Limited Series Outstanding Television Movie: Bandersnatch Outstanding Limited Series: Chernobyl Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: Jharrel Jerome - When They See Us Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Michelle Williams - Fosse/Verdon Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: Ben Whishaw - A Very English Scandal Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Patricia Arquette - The Act Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Johan Renck - Chernobyl Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Craig Mazin - Chernobyl Emmy Winners 2019: Reality/Variety Series Outstanding Reality Competition Series: RuPaul's Drag Race Outstanding Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series: Don Roy King - Saturday Night Live Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Thems your Emmy winners in 2019. If you've made it all the way to the end of this list, we're going to assume you're quite fond of the moving pictures. If you are, you'll surely know that some of entertainment's biggest films and TV shows have been set in New York. So, why not go and visit some of them? These are our favorites. The Friends Apartment Building West Village The Friends apartment building will be there for you, when the rain starts to p- sorry. Yes, while the apartments themselves were shot in a studio (sorry to break the illusion, there simply ain't enough space for the audience in a real New York apartment), you can definitely go and see the building shown in the establishing shots. They may have never lived there, and they may have never been actual real people, but you followed their lives. Their loves. Their foibles. So, go outside the apartment and use your imagination. Just don't call up their names. Real people live there. Bethesda Terrace and Fountain Central Park This iconic Central Park location has been in cinema for over a hundred years, so it's no surprise that it's the backdrop for many scenes in film and TV shows too. Sex and the City, Annie Hall, and even John Wick: Chapter 2 all had iconic scenes right by the fountain. Go and see it. It is lovely. Empire State Building Midtown Arguably New York's most iconic landmark, if not the world's, the Empire State Building has been a staple of American film and TV for decades. Superman knocked its antenna off, and then promptly put it back, while battling General Zod in Superman 2. King Kong famously scaled it way back in the 30's. And it was annihilated by aliens in action sci-fi epic Independence Day. If you've never been, or are hoping to revisit, make a day of it. Rockefeller Center Fitzrovia The home of NBC Studios, The Rockefeller Center houses some of the network's biggest shows like Emmy 2019 winners Saturday Night Live, and past winners 30 Rock. It's also another location for John Wick: Chapter 2 (boy does Mr. Wick get around NYC in that one), as well as The Godfather, Rocky III, Annie, and many, many others. If you don't know the building, you may well recognize the giant Christmas tree and ice rink they set up outside during the holidays. It features in Elf, Home Alone 2, and Serendipity. Go there. You will love it. New York Public Library 5th Avenue And finally, why not go visit the New York Public Library. Not only do you need to read more. You do. Stop pretending. You also get to see the site of some amazing movies. Revisit one of Ghostbusters' most iconic scenes, or where Spiderman went on his field trip before his fateful spider bite. And when you're done seeing all of your favorite NYC film locations in person, why not explore them virtually? What are your favorite iconic NYC landmarks from your most beloved films? Let us know in the comments below.
Dom Bewley

Have a 5% discount, on us!

More savings? You're welcome. Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, vacation inspiration and much more.

  • Thick check Icon