Spectacular event in store to celebrate Diwali this weekend

PUBLISHED: 13:38 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

ONE thousand lanterns will float up into the night sky in a bid for world peace as a temple celebrates Diwali this weekend. The lanterns will be released after a spectacular firework display at the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple in Letchmore Heat

ONE thousand lanterns will float up into the night sky in a bid for world peace as a temple celebrates Diwali this weekend.

The lanterns will be released after a spectacular firework display at the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple in Letchmore Heath, near Radlett, on Sunday (October 18).

15,000 people are expected to turn out for the Diwali celebrations, of which other highlights will include colourful dances, plays and free vegetarian meals for everyone.

The day will culminate at 6.15pm with one of the biggest firework displays in the Greater London area and everyone is welcome to the event.

The central theme of the Hindu celebration of Diwali, which marks the beginning of the New Year, is victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It comes from the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, when Lord Rama returns in victory after slaying the demon Ravana.

After defeating the demon, 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 night of a new moon and was pitch black, so all the people 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.

Temple chairman Pranabandhu das said: "Diwali is a time for family and for prayers, sacrifice and charity. Millions of Hindus around the world worship Lord Rama on this day by lighting lamps and sharing a sumptuous vegetarian feast with friends and neighbours.

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