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A Taste of India in Aylesbury

A Taste of India in Aylesbury

On Saturday afternoon, Aylesbury town centre was moving to a different beat. To the sounds of Indian Dhol drums, the community danced, clapped and smiled. This was our Festival of Lights celebration!

Rangoli’s – this wonderful tradition was created by Volunteer Anjali Deshpandey – it only took her 10min to create

Despite being a dull October afternoon Kingsbury Square and Buckinghamshire County Museum was a riot of colour. Along with the performers, in their richly patterned and embroidered fabrics, people were having their faces painted and decorated with gems. Henna artists painted hands with traditional Indian paisley and flower designs, whilst the aromas and tastes of India wafted from the food stalls.

Mayor of Aylesbury Cllr Mike Smith and Poonam Gupta – lead the morning procession with Bhangra Moves flanked by Dhol Movements
Facepainting – thanks to Volunteer Dr Radhika Ravichandar shared her creative talents
Sitar by Volunteer Mamta Sharma live demos and have a go workshops took place in Bucks County Museum

There were so many delightful craft stalls, selling handcrafted goods from local makers, along with Indian jewellery, candles, incense and scarfs. Children crowded in to watch the spectacular shadow puppet show, joined in the lantern parade, coloured mandalas and created paper lanterns.

Alkananda’s encapsulating opening performance on Climate Change and Deforestation, a topic very dear to Holy Cow Home’s heart

Citizens Advice  Aylesbury & Buckingham the Festival’s chosen charity for 2019 – Thanks to all who purchased raffle tickets Barnett Waddingham doubled it, we  made a  donation of £501 

The festival’s chosen local charity Citizens Advice Aylesbury and Buckingham created a beautiful mandala picture with all the community
Combination of local dance schools students, traditional folk dance, and Dhol players who practiced hard to give us a memorable day with lots of participation
We all had a lovely time – if you missed it we hope the pictures transport you there, maybe see you next year
The Ethos of the Festival in a picture – come together and celebrate life . Life cannot exist without Life Make the MOST of Life by being active
The Ethos of the Festival in a picture – come together and celebrate life . Life cannot exist without Life Make the MOST of Life by being active

By the evening, a sea of lights and lanterns really came into their own. It created a magical spectacle, with many visitors enjoying the chance to dance and enjoy time with friends and family. This really is at the heart of the Diwali celebration.

I would personally like to thank everyone who was involved in bringing the event together, as well as everyone who came along and took part. What an occasion!

Children & Adults proudly carried the Lanterns made using Willow & Paper they made the week prior to the Festival

Community Involvement : Parents and children came along to make lanterns for the parade prior to the event to light up the night
Jay Kumar Bollywood Dance Choreographer and Entertainer- a permanent fixture for the Festival of Lights – supporting the event since its inceptions in 2017

Handcrafted Gifts in Aylesbury

If you came along and were inspired by this cultural event, remember, you can pop into Holy Cow Home on any day for a taste of India in Aylesbury. You will discover unique gifts, handcrafted interior accessories and plenty of lights, lanterns and candles to brighten every dark evening. All items in our boutique are fairly traded and come from local, as well as international suppliers.

One of the next Aylesbury events will be the switching on of the Christmas lights. Pop in when you are looking for the ideal gift for your friends or family.

Community Involvement : Parents and children came along to make lanterns for the parade prior to the event to light up the night – Lantern workshops were kindly sponsored by Aylesbury Garden Town

Supporting the Festival of Lights

This was the third year that we’ve been able to organise a Diwali event in Aylesbury and we plan to continue this tradition in 2020. Could you help us bring more colour, joy and celebration to our town?

High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire  Julia Upton MBE and Chair of AVDC Cllr Judy Brandis arrived in style – on a Tuk Tuk to open the event – AVDC and many others in the community made the event possible by pledging to our crowdfunding page

We would also love to hear from anyone who would be interested in supporting next year’s Festival of Lights Celebration. We welcome interest from committee members, willing volunteers, stallholders, local community organisations, sponsors and entertainers! If you would like to express your interest, please contact me at holycowhome@gmail.com

Diwali – The Hindu Festival of Light

The Aylesbury event kickstarted our traditional Hindu festival a little early. Families from all corners of the world will be coming together to eat, pray, share gifts and light up their homes on Sunday 27 October. If you are interested in finding out more about the significance of Diwali, you can read all about it in our previous blog.

I would like to end this article with a traditional greeting – “May every aspect of your life be as luminous and wonderful as the lights on the lamps of Diwali.

Video Collage from pictures shared by community and Photographer Derek Pelling and Randal S Cheney

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