Cllr. Zaffar Van Kalwala joined thousands of people to attend the annual Diwali Celebrations at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Stonebridge.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important celebrations for the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities. The festival celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. It also marks the start of the traditional Indian New Year.
Crowds packed the Gibbons Recreation Ground to see the annual fireworks display which lit-up the night sky with a spectacular array of colours and sounds. Cllr. Zaffar Van Kalwala continued with the festivities by attending the Annakut celebrations at the Swaminarayan Mandir which signifies the start of the Hindu New Year.
Cllr. Zaffar Van Kalwala also joined more than 60,000 people who descended on Wembley to take part in the biggest Diwali celebration in the UK. Crowds lined the streets on to see beautifully lit floats, costumed dancers and musicians swirl their way down Ealing Road to Barham Park where a fireworks and laser show.
The celebrations began with a visit to the new Hindu temple, Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir, with more than 13 dance groups performing traditional Indian dance styles such as Kathak, Bharatyam Odissi and Kuchioudi. A beautiful rangoli exhibition was also held throughout the afternoon.
Cllr. Zaffar Van Kalwala, said:
“The Swaminarayan Mandir have been organising Diwali celebrations for many years. Each year the celebrations go from strength to strength and it's great to see that thousands of people from Brent and across London come to the Mandir to celebrate together with the community. We continue to be one of the most diverse communities where residents enjoy celebrating and learning about each other’s cultures."
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