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Celebrating the Festival of Lights in Aylesbury

Diwali Celebrations

Holy Cow Home, along with many other members of the community invites you to join our Diwali celebration on Saturday 19 October. This event promises to bring colour and joy to the town centre and it is open to all. 

Come along for a taste of Indian street food, to see drummers and dancers, a shadow theatre and a street parade. There is even a spectacular Bollywood Dinner and Dance evening. In addition to the vibrant action, the calmer traditions of Indian culture will be showcased in this community event. Would you like to try lantern making in preparation for the parade, or yoga or meditation on the day?

What is Diwali?

Diwali is a Hindu festival, which actually falls on 27 October this year. It is actually a 5-day celebration, in which families and communities come together. 

Day of Fortune

The first day is called Dhanteras, the day of fortune. On this day, Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune is honoured. The tradition is for people to exchange gifts made of metal. Metals come from the core of the earth and these gifts are given as a symbol of prosperity. Although jewellery is a popular choice, vases, figurines and other metal castings are gifted.

Day of Knowledge

On the second day, Naraka Chaturdasi, the tradition is to create beautiful Rangoli patterns from coloured rice, flour and fresh flowers. These colourful displays adorn the entrances to homes and temples as a sign of welcome. It is hoped that the designs will encourage Lakshmi to enter the home and bring fortune.

Day of Light

Diwali is a magical celebration of light over dark, good over evil. When Lord Rama rescued his wife from evil forces, his path home was lit up in the dark. Diwali aims to light everyone’s path with candles, lanterns and wonderful firework displays that last into the night. Homes are filled with tealights and the homemade version; cotton wool and oil lit in diyas.

New Year’s Day

Annakur marks the start of the new Hindu year and it is marked with a Temple feast. People generously present edible offerings to Ganesh at Hindu temples around the world. Ganesh is the God of new beginnings. He encourages individuals to unite in friendship, to identify and remove obstacles and to enjoy life. Through the day, food is shared and enjoyed by all. 

Day of Siblings

The final day, Bhai Duj, is dedicated to siblings. It is traditional for brothers to visit their sister’s homes and bring them gifts. In India, it is traditional for women to become part of their husband’s family when they marry, but on this day, they reconnect with their birth family.

Getting Involved in Aylesbury’s Festival of Lights

On the 19 October, activities will be taking place from 1pm in venues including Aylesbury’s Kingsbury Square and Bucks County Museum.  Everyone is welcome and you can immerse yourself in the colours, aromas and sounds that mark this traditional Hindu festival.

Lantern making workshops will be held at Queens Park Centre on 12th October.  Book your place 

If you are looking for the ideal Diwali gifts, pop along to Holy Cow Home on Cambridge Street in Aylesbury. We are open every day, except Sunday, from 10am.

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact festivaloflightsaylesbury@gmail.com.  Pledges can be made to our crowdfunding campaign  on  Spacehive 

https://www.holycowhome.co.uk/festival-of-lights

Highlights from Festival of Lights 2018

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