Diwali is one of the biggest Hindu festivals ever. It is also known as Deepavali or “The Festival of Lights.” It is now recognised worldwide and in many countries it is a public holiday. These countries include Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Singapore, Fiji, India and Bangladesh and in Pakistan Hindus are allowed to take a day off.

The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. On the day before Diwali, Hindus clean and decorate their homes and offices. They draw Rangoli patterns on the floor and place diyas or divas around their homes.

Many see Diwali as a time to honour the return of Lord Ram, Goddess Sita and Rams brother Lakshman from 14 years of exile. Also on Diwali Hindus worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Ganesh, who symbolises ethical beginnings and fearless remover of obstacles, Saraswati, who symbolises music, literature and learning and Kuber who symbolises book keeping, treasury and wealth management.

Every year for the past 7 years, the Indian community in Bromley have been hosting a Diwali party. I have been lucky enough to go to the party for 4 years now, wanting to go back for more every year.

It is not only a party but it is a way to united the Indian Community together and get them to celebrate one of the biggest Hindu festivals together, even though they are miles away from their home.

At the party not only does everyone interact with new people but also the children and adults do a variety of performances from dances to plays about Diwali. The guest also had the opportunity to enter in a talent show which I, myself with my group have won 3 years running.

It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to the next years to see what the party brings.

Gauri Saxena Bromley High School