Boris Johnson celebrates Diwali by visiting two temples in Brent

Mayor of London marks the start of the Hindu New Year

The Mayor of London visited two temples in the borough to celebrate Diwali with hundreds of people yesterday evening (Thursday).

Boris Johnson marked the start of the Hindu New Year at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Brentfield Road, Neasden, and the Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir in Ealing Road, Wembley.

The Mayor, who also backed the recent 10th anniversary celebrations of Diwali in Trafalgar Square, met with senior figures as well as volunteers at each of the mandirs.

He said: “As Londoners and people around the world mark Diwali and the start of the Hindu New Year I am delighted to take part in celebrations at these two important mandirs.

“Diwali is about new beginnings and a commitment to family values and has lessons we can all appreciate, representing joy, love, reflection, resolution, forgiveness, light and knowledge.”

“To Hindus in London and everywhere a happy Diwali – have a prosperous and happy New Year.”

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Gorande Bhatt, honorary secretary general at Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir, told the Brent & Kilburn Times it was an honour to have Mayor Johnson as a guest.

She said: “He was very warm and surprised us all with his knowledge of Hinduism.

“He took a keen interest in the temple and it was an honour and a pleasure to have him here. He was warmly welcomed.”

Both temples created history when they opened as Shri Swaminarayan Mandir was the first Hindu temple to be opened in Europe, and Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir is the largest outside of India.