NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Pelham Art Center’s popular Diwali, Hindu Festival of Lights, returns as part of its Folk Arts Series, Saturday, December 3 from 1:30-3:30PM. Join us for this colorful and festive event with a free ancient Indian classical dance performance, traditional hands-on art workshops and receive Mehndi body art from artist Manjula Kandaswamy. Also known as henna tattoos, Mehndi is a temporary form of skin decoration using henna ink, an all natural paste derived from the Henna plant. At 2:45PM, dancer Mitra Purkayatha will present the Manipuri dance also known as Jagoi, one very important Indian classical dance from Manipur, the eastern part of India that borders Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Myanmar. The beautiful dance pieces portray mythological stories and characters and Manipuri history. There will be demonstrations of a few simple hand gestures and footwork so the audience can participate. Running throughout the event will be two hands-on art workshops led by Lavanya Misra and Becky Mills. This year participants can create their own tissue marigolds, which in Hindu culture is representative of the sun. In the Rangoli workshop, participants can create decorative designs that are usually placed at the threshold of the home to bring good luck and welcome Hindu deities.