United Sates President Barack Obama would attend a Diwali reception on Friday, the White House has said.

“In the evening, the President will attend a Diwali reception in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building,” the White House said on Thursday.

While Diwali reception at the Eisenhower Executive building, which is part of the White House office complex, was started during the Bush Administration, it was Mr. Obama, who in 2009 became the first U.S. President to attend the festival of lights celebrations at the White House.

Last year, Obama celebrated Diwali in Mumbai, during his maiden trip to India.

“I was proud to be the first President to mark Diwali and light the Diya at the White House, and last year Michelle and I were honoured to join in Diwali celebrations during our visit to India,” Mr. Obama said in a statement early this week in which he greeted people on the occasion of the festival of lights.

Diwali is a time for gathering with family and friends and-as we experienced in India-celebrating with good food and dancing, Mr. Obama said.

“It is also a time for contemplation and prayer that serves as a reminder of our obligations to our fellow human beings, especially the less fortunate,” he said.

Greeting the Indian diaspora around the world on the occasion, Mr. Obama said that the festival symbolises the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

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