Monday, October 16, 2006

Diwali - Festival of Lights

It's funny how things work out!

Last week Sunday I went to Trafalgar Square thinking it was time for the annual Diwali on the Square celebration. It wasn't. I made a mental note to attend the celebration at some point.

Yesterday my mother and I were invited to my brother's. My mother was going to church in the morning. I thought I would wait for her until she got home and then go to my brother's. I amused myself by watching television. By 3 o'clock I'd had enough of waiting so I went for a walk. Then I had an idea to get a bus into town via Trafalgar Square. On the Square the Diwali Celebration was in full swing.

What is Diwali?

"Enthusiastically celebrated by people of all nationalities, races and religions, Diwali, the festival of lights, creates a magical world of joy and festivity. It celebrates the victory of good over evil - and the glory of light over darkness. The word Diwali or Deepavali means 'a row of lamps'.

"Diwali marks new beginnings and a renewal of commitment to family values, and represents joy, love, reflection, resolution, forgiveness, light and knowledge." Diwali
I got off the bus and joined the party.

Although the audience was predominantly Asian (which in the UK refers to people of Indian Sub-continent origin), there were people of all nationalities enjoying the event.

Performances on stage included traditional Indian dance, contemporary dance, traditional and contemporary Asian singers, and even this white guy doing his own rendition of the Hare Krishna Mantra. One singer who blew me away was Raghav, whose unique sound was a fusion of Bhangra, Hip Hop, R&B and Dancehall. And it got me bopping. The audience loved it.

They were also giving away free goodie bags. As I love Indian sweets I went to get one but there was way too much competition for my liking. After my third attempt and still no joy there was only one final option: prayer. "God, please get me a goodie bag now!" A man came out with more bags and stood right next to me and I got one. The interesting thing was people stopped "fighting" for goodie bags after that. There was more than enough to go round.

As expected, the sweet was delicious. I took a drink and some "Bombay Mix" home for my mother to enjoy.

Later I asked my mother if she went to my brother's. She said she got home at 6.30 pm and it was too late. We've arranged to visit my brother next weekend.

Happy Diwali everyone!

Love and Light,

Related article: Dancing Queen

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