On Sunday, 27 October, 1.6 percent of the British population celebrated one of the most important festivals in Hinduism: Diwali. Here’s how it was celebrated in Bromley, and also in my home.


Diwali (the festival of lights) is an incredibly important festival for all Hindus, and to understand why, we need to delve into why Diwali is even a thing in the first place.


Long, long ago lived a great warrior by the name of Rama, who, along with his little brother Lakshman and wife Sita, lived a content life. However, the demon king, Ravana, wanted to make Sita his wife, and one day, kiddnapped Sita in a chariot and took her to the land of the demons. However, Sita was clever, and left a trail of her jewellery for Rama and Lakshman to follow. They did, and along the way, made friends with the monkey king Hanuman, who enlisted the help of all the animals in the kingdom to help Rama rescue Sita. After they arrived on the island of the demons, they fought a long and hard battle, one that ultimately ended when Rama shot a golden arrow into Ravana, killing him. He, Sita, Lakshman began the long journey back home, and to aid them, all the people of the world lit oil lamps to guide and welcome them back. Ever since, Diwali has been celebrated to remember how, no matter what, in the end, light will always win over dark.


In Bromley, celebrations were held in Bromley civic centre, Darrick Wood and Newstead Wood, to name only a few. Although I didn’t go, I have the assurance of all my friends that it was spectacular. My family chose to celebrate at home, and although it’s not the time of oil lamps, we remembered and honoured one of the holiest days in the Hindu calendar with some candles and good food.


Shaivi Bhatta