Plans are in place for Bath’s eighth annual Diwali festival party, which this year is taking place at Beechen Cliff School on Saturday 25th October.
Organised by the Bath Hindu Community, up to two-hundred people are expected to join in the festivities.
Originating from India, Diwali is now celebrated all across the world for both its religious and cultural significance.
Also known as the ‘festival of lights’, it is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in the autumn. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
Cllr Nathan Hartley is from the Bath and North East Somerset Faith Forum.
He said: “The festival of Diwali has increasingly become quite mainstream in recent years, and more and more non-Hindus appreciate and celebrate the occasion.
“Over the past ten years national leaders such as Prince Charles and the Prime Minister have attended Diwali celebrations at some of UK’s prominent Hindu temples, such as the Swaminarayan Temple in London, using the occasion to commend the Hindu community’s contributions to British life.
“And just this week, more than 30,000 people attended the Diwali lights switch on in Leicester.”
The festival is commonly observed by illuminating hundreds of candles in homes, temples and public places.
In ancient times, Diwali was first observed by the residents of Ayodhya (north east India) to celebrate the return of King Rama, an incarnation of Krishna, after 14 years in exile.
In another era, this was also the day when Lord Krishna performed His Damodara childhood pastime of breaking the pots of yogurt and letting Himself be bound by Mother Yashoda.
Cllr Hartley, who last year spent a month travelling around India to visit some of the country’s most holy sites, added: “Here in Bath the festivities this year will be bigger than ever and will include a three-course authentic Indian Dinner, fireworks and entertainment.
“I’d encourage anyone to attend, they’d be made most welcome.”
Bath’s Eighth Annual Diwali Festival Party is organised by the Bath Hindu Community and will be held at Beechen Cliff School on Saturday 25th October from 6pm. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org.