Diwali lights up Brent as Hindu communities celebrate the New Year

Fireworks light up the sky above Neasden Temple

Fireworks light up the sky above Neasden Temple - Credit: Archant

The skies were alight on Saturday as Hindu communities in Brent celebrated their New Year celebrations.

Displays were exploding above Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury in Kingsbury Road and BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Brentfield Close, Neasden, to celebrate Diwali, the annual Festival of Light.

The main aspects of Kingsbury Mandir’s festival this year were the Annakut display of food, set in a village theme – which organisers said harks back to a time of “simple living and higher thinking”.

Crowds enjoyed interactive exhibitions of Indian arts culture and live music, on Friday and Saturday.

More than 15,000 lights were strung up for the rituals of worship which have been taking place all week with visits from school children, local politicians and thousands of visitors who gathered for prayers and feasting.

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Dr Mahesh Varsani, trustee of the Mandir said: “We were delighted that our Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations were bigger and better than ever before. It was an honour and delight to welcome the many thousands of visitors that came to appreciate the grand Annakut, enjoy the festivities, support the fantastic charities that we have partnered with, and of course, experience the fireworks finale. Next year promises to top this, and all are welcome to visit the Mandir at any time.”

The traditions, colours and rich culture of the Hindu faith were enjoyed in all their devotional vibrancy At Neasden Temple.

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His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the temple, blessed worshippers throughout the two days and emphasised that Diwali is a time to reflect on one’s personal spiritual progress and encouraged everyone to imbibe the values of unity and strengthen their faith in God. He also prayed for peace, harmony and righteous prosperity to prevail throughout the world.

Yogen Shah, a volunteer at the temple said: “It was particularly joyous and emotional to celebrate Diwali and the Hindu New Year in the presence ofHis Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj the spiritual leader of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir popularly known as the Neasden temple.”

“Diwali is an opportune moment to reinforce one’s love for God and celebrate the values of charity, goodwill and family, and thus dispel inner darkness with the light of God’s presence. It is not only a time of joy but also a time to give.”

A Living Organ Donation Conference is taking place at the Neasden Temple this Saturday (Oct 28) from 12 noon till 4pm to raise awareness of how to transform someone’s life while still alive.

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