More than 450 people from the local community came together at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the Hindu temple in Lisbon, Portugal, to experience the vibrant sounds, flavours and colours of Diwali – ‘the Festival of Light’ – and the Hindu New Year on 12 th November. It was one of the largest devotional celebrations Lisbon.
Suraliben, a volunteer at the temple, explained, “Diwali and the Hindu New Year bring values of goodwill, charity and harmony across hindu community in Lisbon. As families
continue to grapple with challenges, it was heartwarming to bring some festive joy and smiles to the people of Lisbon and share memories that will bring hope and light for the rest of the year and beyond.”
The Diwali festivities included a special ceremony to bless business owners, families as well as students with righteous prosperity and success. One of the highlights for visitors was the annakut – ‘a mountain of food’ consisting of 170 of dishes freshly prepared by devotees – that was artistically arranged as a devotional offering of the first meal of the New Year made in thanksgiving to God.
To add to the festive experience, visitors enjoyed delicious vegetarian sweet and savoury snacks, Member of the parish council of Alvalade Dr. Paulo Doce de Moura, President of the Association Proabraçar Dr.Nelson Feijão, Claim Almeirim, Association to Support Migrants Dr. Cátia Sequeira and Vice-President of the Hindu Community of Portugal Mr. Harun Carsane also joined the Annakut celebrations.