Hundreds joined annual Diwali Lights procession through Northampton town centre
The 16th Diwali Lights - Winter Festival of Lights lit up Northampton town centre.
Organised by the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation (IHWO) attracted crowds of spectators from all cultures and backgrounds during the course of the day.
The highlight of the event was the famous Diwali Lantern Procession, featuring member “Shanti” the Big Bird, Harminder the Elephant and more.The procession finished up at the Market Square where people witnessed the official switching on of the Diwali lights folowed by the famous Indian “bhangra” party for all.
Diwali, known as the festival of lights, signifies the victory of light over dark, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. It is a festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.Hindus light traditional earthen lanterns (Diyas) in celebration and honour of the return of Lord Rama and his wife Sita, after a fourteen-year exile and defeating the evil king Ravanna.Diwali is celebrated over five days. Families share sweets and gifts with other family members, neighbours and friends as well as take the opportunity to donate and help those who are in need.
Homes are decorated with vibrant colours, lights and Diyas. Rangoli patterns are created in homes using coloured rice or powder to make the home look beautiful and inviting.The Market Square was enlivened before the event with a range of traditional Indian workshops, including Henna tattooing, a 'how to wear a saree workshop', and cultural games such as Karom.