Join us for lively music and dance performances, vibrant and interactive artist demonstrations, and open mic hosted by SubDrift Boston. Tour the galleries exploring highlights of South Asian art, sketch in the galleries, and make art with artist and educator Sunanda Sahay.

Diwali is an ancient festival of lights observed around the world by many cultures and religions. On Diwali, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains—followers of some of the world’s oldest religions—light a diya (oil lamp) with family and friends, celebrating the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.

Special Events

Artist Demonstration and Art Making: Warli Painting
6–9 pm, Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 159

Join artist Sunanda Sahay as she demonstrates Warli painting—a style of tribal art from western India. Make your own art inspired by her work and themes related to Diwali.

SubDrift Boston: Open Mic
7–9 pm, Gallery 168

Engage with members of Subcontinental Drift (SubDrift) Boston, part of a national movement building South Asian creative community through monthly open mics, for a special program of music, poetry, and dance. Be inspired by the showcase of artistic expressions from a diverse group of South Asians in the Boston area. Join in to celebrate and reflect how Diwali and the arts can create ever greater social and spiritual uplift. Follow SubDrift Boston on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @subdriftboston or email


Kathak Dimensions: North Indian Classical Dance
5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Members of the Chhandika Dance Ensemble bring the dynamic and innovative traditions of kathak dance to life! Be dazzled as this troupe of dancers tells ancient stories (in the lineage of Pandit Chitresh Das) through sophisticated rhythms, nuanced footwork, and vibrant music.

Talk/Dance Performance: Sacred Arts of South Asia
7 and 8:30 pm, Riley Seminar Room

Join Odissi dancer Srabonti Bandyopadhyay for a short talk on both ancient and modern forms of this expressive Indian classical dance, interspersed with three dances: mangalacharan, pallavi, and dashavatar. Bandyopadhyay is a senior disciple of the legendary Odissi dancer and choreographer Guru Mayadhar Raut (Padmashri) and his daughter Guru Madhumita Raut, and has been a student of Guru Dibakar Khuntia.

More to See and Do

Art Making: Rangoli Designs
5–9 pm, Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 160

Rangoli is an art form in which patterns are created on the floor using colored rice, sand, flour, or flower petals. The designs are thought to bring good luck. Take a look in Gallery 183 at the many unique designs and patterns in the paintings from Northern India in “An Enchanted Land.” Return to the art studio to create your own rangoli design in celebration of Diwali.

Drawing in the Galleries
6–9 pm, Gallery 177

Get drawing tips and ideas from an artist as you sketch from a live model and objects in the galleries.

Blind or Low Vision Access

Tours and Talks

Spotlight Talks
6:30 and 7:15 pm, Gallery 183

Hear from Laura Weinstein, Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, as she gives a 15-minute talk in the exhibition “An Enchanted Land.” Take a closer look at these extraordinary examples of Indian painting as we celebrate the centennial of the MFA’s collection of Indian art.

Gallery Tours
6:15, 7, and 7:45 pm, Meet at the Sharf Visitor Center

Enjoy a 30-minute tour exploring three highlights from the MFA’s collection of South Asian art, including Ganesh, the auspicious elephant-headed Hindu deity known as the “remover of obstacles”—an important aspect of Diwali.

MFA Guide
Available at all ticket desks, Sharf Visitor Center and Gund Gallery, LG31.

Rent a mobile MFA Guide to explore the Museum’s collections, including a Kids’ tour introducing young visitors age 6 to 10 to the Art of the Americas collection. A selection of highlights is narrated in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and ASL. Many stops are accessible to visitors who are Deaf or blind.

Members $5; Nonmembers $6; Kids 17 and under $4. Free for visitors who are Deaf or blind.

Audio Description
ASL Interpreted
Assistive Listening System
Closed Captioning

Additional Information


The MFA is committed to accessibility for all visitors. For information, visit Accessibility, e-mail, or call 617-267-9300 or 617-369-3188 (TTY). Wheelchairs and walkers are available at all entrances, first come, first served.


Tickets are required for free Museum admission, available at all ticket desks.

MFA Citizens

Are you or is someone you know a new US citizen? Starting July 1, 2017, new US citizens living in Massachusetts can receive a free one-year family membership to the MFA! Just come to the Museum, show a copy or photo of your naturalization certificate at any ticket desk within one year of your swearing-in, and you will get a free Museum membership for one year.

EBT Card to Culture

Present Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards at any ticket desk and receive up to four $3 tickets good for adult, senior, or student admission. Kids ages 17 and younger are always free.

Mark Your Calendars

December 13, 5–10 pm

Join us for an evening of art and culture celebrating Hanukkah. Learn about the Museum’s collection of Judaica, watch a film, and hear festive musical performances throughout the Museum. All events are free.

December Vacation Week
December 26–31

Bring the whole family to enjoy the winter season with activities for all ages.

Every Wednesday
Free admission for all starting at 4 pm
(Voluntary contributions welcome)