Last night I drove to Artesia, a city southeast of Los Angeles where LA’s “Little India” is located, to see some of the Diwali festivities and try some of the treats typical of the holiday. Diwali is a five-day festival of lights, that started yesterday and will continue until Thursday November 7th (If you don’t have time to celebrate this week, see details below for Artesia’s all-day event to take place on this Sunday, November 10th). It is celebrated in many countries where Hinduism is widespread in South and South East Asia.
Pioneer Blvd., a major thoroughfare of Artesia, was brightly lit with a combination of smaller lights wrapped around trees and buildings, and larger lights that were projected into the sky, and could be seen from blocks away (as pictured above).
I went to Surati Farsan Mart, right off of Pioneer Blvd., and found that it was an ideal place to enjoy an Indian meal and indulge in some candies for dessert. The restaurant was packed, brightly lit up, and had a counter where people sampled and purchased soft, colorful treats that were filled with ingredients like saffron, cashews, coconut and pistachio. I asked a cashier behind the counter if any of the treats were made for Diwali specifically, and he said that most people just get a mixture of their favorites.
My personal favorite was the “jalebi” (pictured above) that was included with my meal. Described as “fried sweet swirls made from sugar and gram flour,” the jalebi was nice and crunchy, and not too sweet.
If you want to join in on some of the Diwali festivities, the city of Artesia will close down Pioneer Blvd. between 183rd and 188th streets on Sunday November 10th from 11AM to 10PM for Diwali celebrations. Make sure you check it out and get your fill of delicious Diwali treats! Click here for more info.