Diwali, otherwise known as Deepawali or the Festival of Lights, is a much-awaited festival celebrated by Hindus. Families around the globe get together to celebrate this festival with joy and gaiety.
Diwali is historically associated with many legendary stories drawn from a class of Hindu scriptures known as the Puranas. It is believed that on this day the evil demon Narkasura was defeated by Lord Krishna. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is worshipped during Diwali as a celebration of her victory over negative and destructive forces.
The fundamental theme of the festival portrays the classic truth of the victory of good over evil which is symbolised by the lighting of the lamp. During this time light is considered to be the most promising attribute as it removes the darkness of ignorance.
The glittering diyas (clay lamps) and candles are lit within the house. Gorgeous colourful and artistically designed rangoli are laid out on the floor (designs using ground rice, flower petals, and coloured rocks). Offering prayers to an array of gods and goddesses (Lakshmi, Krishna, Saraswati and Lord Mahavir) to beckon health, wealth, knowledge, power and happiness is a central part of the festival. Celebrations include bursting crackers and the preparation of a sumptuous spread of delicacies including a variety of sweets. This festival is unlike a lot of other Indian festivals for the mere reason that there is no fasting but feasting and celebrating.
Diwali does not only pertain to the lighting of lamps outside but the essence of this festival is to light the inner lamp of knowledge. Diwali has a universal appeal, it unites people of different religious faiths & cultures across the world.
In Harrow, there are a number of events celebrating the festival. We have listed some of them below…
- EEL Association & Kho-Kho Ruislip will be hosting a special Harrow & NW London Diwali Dhamaka Night at the venue. This will be a special event to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Address: 101-103, High Street, Ruislip, HA4 8JN.
- St George’s Shopping Centre will also be holding a Diwali event on Saturday 22 October with free henna art and food offerings from Dabeli Hut. Address: St George’s Shopping Centre, St Anns Road, Harrow, HA1 1HS.
- Harrow Fireworks are set to return on the 5th November with their biggest display to date celebrating both Diwali and Guy Fawkes night. Tickets for this are now on sale.
- The Cardamom Club in Belmont Circle will be celebrating Diwali with food, drinks and fun in Stanmore. Expect live music, dancing and more. Address: 28 Belmont Circle, Stanmore, Ha7 2BJ.