Project Details

Diwali SA

Short Description and Goal

Diwali is a national holiday in India. Anuja SA highlights the beautiful traditions of the celebration to the citizens of San-Antonio, USA. Anuja SA Inc. is a non-profit organization created to promote the Sister-City alliance between San Antonio and Chennai, India. Anuja SA’s mission is to foster relationships between the two cities in various facets including Arts and Culture, Medicine, Education, Business and Commerce, and Sports and Recreation.

Detailed Description

Diwali is co-hosted by the City of San Antonio and Anuja SA, a local nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the Sister City alliance between San Antonio and Chennai, India. The event features traditional Indian dance, food booths, entertainment, and arts & crafts vendors. Some of the highlights of this free, family-friendly celebration include the releasing of lighted candles, known as diyas, onto the water, a river barge parade showcasing the diverse states of India, and a dazzling firework display to light up the night.

Akin to New Year’s Eve, Diwali is the biggest and brightest festival in India – celebrating the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Since its inception in 2009, the San Antonio spin-off has grown to become the largest city-sanctioned Diwali in the United States, attracting tens of thousands of attendees to the downtown area annually.

“Diwali San Antonio is the largest and most popular cultural event of our Sister City program,” said Sherry Dowlatshahi, chief diplomacy & protocol officer and head of the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office. “Our office is thrilled to see the growing number of attendees each year and the excitement that this celebration has garnered locally.”

Anuja SA was created shortly after the signing of the Sister City agreement between San Antonio and Chennai in 2008. With support from the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office, the organization remains dedicated to maintaining the relationship between the two cities through various outreach activities and exchanges.

Source:  “Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights Celebrates San Antonio’s Indian Community” article by ">Erin Nichols and ">Kausi Subramaniam,published on Thursday, October 17, 2019



DiwaliSA 2020 turned into a day-long online event, with the possibility to buy traditional souvenirs in a virtual bazaar and order DiwaliSA traditional food via Indian Restaurant partners.

Schedule and detailed description of program items can be found here

Last offline events hosted over 30 000 visitors. To host such event organizers needed not only municipal support but also several levels of sponsorship 

Initiated by

  • AnujaSA

Initiators are

• Private individual(s) / Civil society

Funded by

• Corporation(s)
• Municipality
• Foundations

Project Website(s)

Social Media Link(s)

Contact Info


Anuja SA
PO Box 591801
San Antonio, TX 78259


1-833-4ANUJASA (1-833-4-628-5272)

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Project Topics

Arts & Culture, Heritage

Level / Project Complexity /


Participating Cities

  • San Antonio
  • Chennai

Sizes of Participating Cities

• 500.000 - 1,5 Mio
• more than 1,5 Mio

Participating Countries

  • USA
  • India

Project Region(s)

• Asia
• North America

Media Credits

Cover picture: Photo by Sandeep Kr Yadav on Unsplash