Diwali and Annakut festivals were celebrated for the first time in Western Australia Parliament, on 17th November 2015, by BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Perth.
The event was hosted by the Hon. Dr. Mike Nahan, Minister for Energy, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests. Over 75 Members of Parliament and invited BAPS guests attended the event which was held in the Aboriginal People’s Room in WA Parliament.
The festivities began with the Deep Pragatya (lighting of the ceremonial lamp) and Vedic chanting. Hon. Colin Barnett (Premier of WA), Hon. Mark McGowan (Leader of the Opposition) and Mr Hasmukh Wadia (Trustee of BAPS Australia) lighted the ceremonial lamp.
Hon. Dr. Mike Nahan, Hon. Mark McGowan and the Premier, Hon Colin Barnett were each garlanded and presented with a decorative “Kalash” to mark the occasion.
During the event, keynote speeches were delivered by Hon. Dr Mike Nahan and Hon. Mark McGowan.
Hon. Dr Mike Nahan and Hon. Mark McGowan both acknowledged the richness and significant contributions made by the Indian community to Australia. Both reflected on the values of Hinduism, and Diwali, and were proud to see them being displayed through BAPS in WA Parliament. Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj's message of peace and prayer was conveyed by a volunteer.
The highlight of the event was the magnificent display of Annakut that was set up with approximately 50 vegetarian delicacies for the first time in the WA Parliament House.
To commemorate the Diwali and Hindu New Year festivals, WA Parliament House was lit up and glowed red and orange on 11th and 12th November, 2015.
All the guests and the Members of Parliament who attended the function were each presented with the book Transcendence, written by the former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in which he describes his spiritual experiences with Param Pujya Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj; and annakut boxes containing prasad - consecrated sweet and savoury delicacies.