Diwali and the Hindu New Year are two of the most important festivals for millions of Hindus around the world. They bring values of goodwill, hope and harmony across communities – and these very values were embodied during the celebrations at more than 60 BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu mandirs and centres around the UK and 19 European countries.
Thousands of worshippers and members of the local community of all faiths and backgrounds came together to enjoy the vibrant sounds, flavours and colours of Diwali, the Hindu ‘Festival of Light’, and the Hindu New Year.
As a part of the festivities, visitors enjoyed darshan of the annakut – ‘a mountain of food’ lovingly prepared, artistically arranged and devoutly offered to the sacred deities as the first meal of the New Year. It is a profoundly devotional, ceremonial offering made in thanksgiving for the providence of God over the past year and to seek blessings for the year ahead. The food was then distributed among devotees, volunteers and visitors.
In keeping with the Diwali spirit of charity and goodwill, many of the mandirs in the UK also collected non-perishable food items for local food banks to help families adversely impacted by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Please click the thumbnails below to see galleries of the respective celebrations.