For the first time in its history the United Nations is celebrating a major festival of any nation. The UN headquarter in New York was lit up on Saturday evening to celebrate the spirit of Diwali. The headquarter which will be lit up for three evenings, displays a lamp with the message of Happy Diwali.


Diwali was recognized by the 69th session of the UN General Assembly through a resolution adopted on 29th December 2014 and declared as a non meeting day.

2016 onward Diwali has been declared as an optional holiday for the UN

Speaking to India Today on the occasion, India’s Envoy to the Permanent Mission to UN Syed Akbaruddin said India received support of several countries who celebrate Diwali.

“Diwali symbolises the triumph of good over evil. UN is a force for good globally. We are thankful to the President of General Assembly Peter Thompson of Fiji who understands the relevance of Diwali in a multicultural environment and society…”.


A section of the UN HQ was lit up earlier in June to celebrate International Yoga Day recognized by the General Assembly after India’s diplomatic push. While the legendary Empire State Building was draped in the tricolor on 15th of August. But it is for the first time that UN is celebrating the Festival of Lights, or any major festival across the globe.

As Indians, Americans and foreigners streamed in to view  and capture the magnificent display ,Poonam an Indian resident Of New York Said ,”It was a huge surprise to see this. It feels like I am home in India.”