Celebrating Diwali and Hindu New Year in Milton Keynes

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The traditions, colours and rich culture of the Hindu faith were enjoyed in all their devotional vibrancy at the Medbourne Pavilion on Saturday night.

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The programme, to celebrate Diwali and the Hindu New Year, was organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Culture Centre in the new city.

Diwali is also called the ‘Festival of Light’ because devotees traditionally light rows of lamps symbolising the triumph of good over evil.

“Diwali is an opportune moment to reinforce one’s love for God and celebrate the values of charity, goodwill and family, and thus dispel inner darkness with the light of God’s presence,” Mayur Shah, a volunteer said, “It is not only a time of joy but also a time to give.”

More than 200 worshippers, visitors and members of the local community attended the event. As part of the festivities, an Annakut – literally, ‘mountain of food’ – was artistically arranged as an offering of the first meal of the New Year in thanksgiving to God and to seek His blessings for the year ahead.