US President Barack Obama has celebrated Diwali in Oval Office, Washington, by lighting the first-ever diya of the White House. President also expressed hoped that his successors would continue the tradition.
Obama talked about this momentous occasion in a Facebook post soon after he kindled the diya in his Oval Office with some Indian-Americans working in his administration. He was also the first president who celebrated Diwali personally at the White House in 2009.
"I was proud to be the first President to host a Diwali celebration at the White House in 2009, and Michelle and I will never forget how the people of India welcomed us with open arms and hearts and danced with us in Mumbai on Diwali," Obama said.
"This year, I was honoured to kindle the first-ever diya in the Oval Office, a lamp that symbolises how darkness will always be overcome by light. It is a tradition that I hope future Presidents will continue," Obama said on the White House Facebook page.
"On behalf of the entire Obama family, I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness on this Diwali," Obama said. The post became viral on the social media. By late night, it was liked by more than 1.5 lakh people and shared more than 33,000 times.
"To all who are celebrating the festival of lights across America and around the world, happy Diwali. As Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists light the diya, share in prayers, decorate their homes, and open their doors to host and feast with loved ones, we recognise that this holiday rejoices in the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance," said the US President.