Monday, October 5, 2009

Diwali Lights Switch On Celebration.

Tonight Nid and the children and I went to the park across the street for the Diwali Lights Switch On Celebration. Earlier in the evening, the 6,500 lights that the city has been putting up on Belgrave Road's Golden Mile were all turned on. This was followed by entertainment in our park. We waited until right before the fireworks started, and walked up. All of the roads in our neighborhood had parking restrictions, or were closed altogether, which made it a much more pleasurable experience, since there were thousands upon thousands of people turned up for the event. The fireworks were quite good, and because we were so close to them, we got the full impact of the explosions and power of those tiny rockets. It was a major family affair with lots of little kids being wheeled around in strollers. They actually had the best seats, because not only did they not have to stand, strollers tilt them up in a way that they were the only ones not craning their necks to see above them.There will be more fireworks on Saturday the 17th, and we are going to see those as well.

I took pictures and video of the fireworks and posted them on my pictures site HERE. I joined the video clips together and added an intro and credits and put a soundtrack to it, if anyone is a fan of fireworks.

Diwali (or Dipawali, often written Deepavali) is a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and an official holiday in India. Adherents of these religions celebrate Diwali as the Festival of Lights. They light diyas—cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual.

In India and Nepal, Diwali is now considered to be a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians and Nepalese regardless of faith.

While Divali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning is "the awareness of the inner light".

In Britain, Hindus and Sikhs celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm and in most ways very similarly to as in India. People clean and decorate their homes with lamps and candles. It is also an important time to contact family in India and perhaps exchange gifts through the post. It is a greatly celebrated holiday and is a great way to connect with the culture and heritage of India. Diwali is becoming a well known festival in Britain and non-Indians also join in the festivities. Leicester plays host to some of the biggest celebrations outside of India itself. Diwali also coincides closely enough with the British Guy Fawkes (Bonfire Night) traditions on November the 5th that in many areas, such as the East End of London, a kind of joint festival has evolved where everyone celebrates and enjoys the same fire and fireworks for their own diverse reasons.

Reference Links:
Diwali Wikipedia Page
Leicester's Diwali Page
Leicester Diwali Events


avagdro said...

Thanks for sharing Jenny.Wish you and all a Happy Diwali ahead.

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