GULFPORT -- One of the largest celebrations on the Hindu calendar, Diwali, will be celebrated this weekend at Orchid Indian Restaurant on Tegarden Road.
Diwali is a five-day celebration of the triumph of light over darkness, love over hate, and good over evil.
Candles are lit nightly to mark this "festival of lights," and families around the world traditionally clean and decorate their homes and exchange gifts.
Diwali dates back to ancient times, and it shifts between mid-October and mid-November. This year it was Nov. 9-13.
In honor of the holiday, customers will receive 20 percent off dinner and children will eat for free.
From 5-10 p.m. Saturday, Indian musicians from New Orleans will play traditional Indian music on a sitar, a large guitar-like instrument played sitting down, and on the tabla, two small metal drums that can produce an array of sounds.
Also featured will be traditional henna tattoos, a nonpermanent art form painted on women during times of celebration. Eyebrow threading will be offered by a professional beautician. These services will be free for patrons.
Indian jewelry and kurtis, a type of women's shirt that can be short to the waist or extend down to the knees, will be on sale.
The kitchen staff will prepare unique seasonal dishes not normally offered on the menu.
A dish called Ghosht Lazeez, made with lamb, is a blend of sweet and sour flavors without being too spicy. Handi Ghosht is slow-cooked lamb after being marinated in a cashew, onion and tomato gravy.
Reshmi Biryani dish will be available as well, made with chicken and rice seasoned with ghee, cream, cashews and saffron.