Diwali is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair, and it is also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists to mark different historical events and stories. It is a five-day festival in many regions of India, with Diwali night centering on the new moon – the darkest night – at the end of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin and the start of the month of Kartika. In the Common Era calendar, Diwali typically falls towards the end of October, or first half of November each year. Rituals and preparations for Diwali begin days or weeks in advance. The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and ends two days thereafter. Each day has it’s own rituals and significance.
In Sunderland the Festival was housed in the National Glass Centre, and was free to attend.
It’s a great way of show-casing our culture. Allowing non-Asian communities to come and embrace and see what we have to offer and it is a positive event. It’s about friendship, it’s about joy, it’s about education.
– KAM CHERA, ORGANISER
When we arrived we were offered, and took, an ornamental bindi, which was stuck in the middle of our foreheads! Everyone had one so it would have been rude not to. There was a lot going on in all the rooms upstairs, and dancing displays downstairs. Firstly we listened to some sitar playing and it was lovely to watch the relationship between the player and the drummer, and the sitar was beautiful.
There was a lady who carved fruit and vegetables into flowers
and ladies painting henna patterns onto hands
you could try on sari’s and turbans
or buy some bling for the ladies
and maybe a handmade jacket for the gentlemen
or have your hair done
or get made up Bollywood style!
When we’d seen all the displays, we headed off downstairs to see the dancing, but took some sneaky’s whilst on the way.
well that’s enough for now, next time we’ll see the dancers in action, they were gorgeous, so stay tooned!