On Sunday 23rd October over 10,000 people came together at Bhaktivedanta Manor to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights. The festival included colourful dances, plays and free vegetarian meals for everyone. The highlight, of course, was the fireworks.
Children drew traditional Rangoli patterns
The main special guest was the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Minister for Transport. “It was great to be able to attend the Diwali events at Bhaktidaventa Manor,” she said. “It gave me the opportunity to pass on best wishes for a happy Diwali to my constituents. I have been a regular visitor to the Manor for some years. I always receive a warm welcome and welcome the chance to learn more about the Krishna faith and its importance for many of my constituents.”
Theresa Villiers MP watched the stage show with leading members of the Communications Department
The day culminated at 6.15pm with most spectacular Diwali firework displays in the Greater London area.
A magnificent spectacle!
The Mayor of Hertsmere, another special guest, stayed for the fireworks…
Cllr David Hewitt, Deputy Chair of Hertfordshire County Council, said “…Once again many thanks for the hospitally extended to my wife and I . We had a most enjoyable time and the firework display was simply outstanding!”
Cllr David Hewitt and Mrs Hetwitt meets a member of the Bhaktivedanta Players drama group, just before they performed The Ramayan.
The central theme of Diwali is the victory of good over evil and light over darkness – from the ancient Indian epic “Ramayana”, when Lord Rama returns in victory after slaying the demon Ravana. After defeating the demon king Ravana, Lord Rama, with Lakshman, Sita, Hanuman and all the monkey warriors triumphantly returned to the city of Ayodhya so that Rama could claim the throne. When they returned it was the new moon night: pitch black. All the people, therefore, lit the way for the returning troops by hanging lamps, candles and fires along the route. In Ayodhya, they were greeted with millions of lights and fireworks. On this day, devotees remember how light will always triumph over darkness.