Brent Diwali: The festival of lights is launched

Students dressed in bright costumes launch the Hindu festival Diwali

The countdown to Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, was fittingly launched by a group of students dressed as golden flames, yesterday (13).

In anticipation of the five day celebration, which takes place at the end of the month, Brent Mayor Harry Singh joined school students and organisers at the Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir temple in Ealing Road, Wembley, to launch the festival.

Cllr Singh said: “Brent Diwali is such a wonderful occasion. It is the highlight of the events calendar for so many people.

“Each year our parade grows bigger, and this year promises to be more special than ever as the beautiful Shri Sanatan temple will be at the heart of celebrations.”

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs, and marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom after he defeated the demon King Ravana. The story signifies the triumph of good over evil.

During the festival small clay lamps known as diyas are filled with oil and celebrants wear their finest, colourful clothes.

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Brent plays host to the largest Diwali procession outside of India, and some 60,000 people thronged along Ealing Road in Wembley to watch the glittering parade.

Veeru Selvanayagam, 12, from Alperton Community School, in Stanley Avenue, Wembley, ushered in the celebrations dressed in a sparkling peach flower costume.

She said: “I feel really special in what I am wearing because I am in the biggest costume.

“I celebrate Diwali every year with my family and I will definitely be going to the parade. I am excited, my whole family will be watching me.”

By her side was Calnita Brito, 11, one of two year 7 pupils at Alperton dressed as flames, said: “The costumes are so beautiful, I was really pleased when I found out I was going to wear one.

“We have learnt a lot about Diwali at school. It is a festival mostly celebrated by Hindus, but it can be enjoyed by people of all faiths.”

A festival including dace troupes in traditional costumes, a float parade and a fireworks show are being put on by Brent Council on October 30 to mark the beginning of Diwali.

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