Celebrating Diwali

Purohit Ashvin Narshi, Shree Vishnu Mandir chairperson and priest

Deepavali or Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is the biggest festival on the Hindu calendar.

Spiritually, it symbolises the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance.

As the term Festival of Lights suggests, the celebration involves millions of lights illuminated from rooftops, doorways, and windows in thousands of temples and buildings all over the world where the festival is observed.

Hindus around the world will celebrate this festival on Tuesday November 6 and Wednesday November 7.

Special prayer services will be hosted at the Shree Vishnu Mandir in Temple Road; at the Shree Radha Krishna, in Jeram Avenue; and Siva Aalayam in Ruth Road, all in Rylands.

This year the Shree Vishnu Mandir and the Samaj Centre also celebrate their 35th anniversary.

The Samaj Centre has become a landmark, a community centre, built by the community during the apartheid era.

Today the centre is used and open to the entire community. It has a hall with a kitchen that easily accommodates over 400 people, the perfect venue for weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties or to host shows, lectures etc.

The day after Diwali, November 8, spells the New Year, Nutan Varsha, for those who arrived in South Africa from the province of Gujarat in India and prayers will be hosted on this day.

Each family will bring prasad (offering) and the Radha Krishna temple will make 56 varieties from the temple to share with all present.

On Sunday November 18, the Cape Town Hindu Seva Samaj will also be hosting a New Year’s lunch, at Tuscany Gardens in Rylands, with performances by Taare and vocals by Shameem Brown and Zerina Sablay, who will entertain guests with Bollywood hits from the past and present. A vegetarian meal will be served. Tickets can be booked by calling Rohit on 083 799 6539.

Charity plays a huge roll over this period. The Dharmic Samelan has introduced the Diwali Wonder Bag Drive and are inviting the community to sponsor a special bag of goodies valued at R100.

These bags will be distributed to orphanages on New Year’s Day and meals will also be served to the children and the frail on the day.

To make a contribution call Dipak on 021 762 1837.

For all other information call Ashvin Narshi on 083 579 9640.

Lastly and most importantly, we wish you a Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year.