Hundreds of people from the local community came together on Saturday 4 November at Medbourne Community Pavilion to experience the vibrant sounds, flavours and colours of Diwali – ‘the Festival of Light’ – and the Hindu New Year. It was one of the largest devotional celebrations in Milton Keynes.
BAPS volunteer Bindi Dhanani said: “Diwali and the Hindu New Year in the Hindu calendar hold great significance, representing a unique moment of reflection, devotion, and celebration. As families continue to grapple with challenges, it was heart-warming to bring some festive joy and smiles to the people of Milton Keynes and share memories that will bring hope and light for the rest of the year and beyond.”
The Diwali festivities included the Annakut – ‘a mountain of food’ consisting of numerous 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.
Children also enjoyed the special dedicated kid’s zone, which included activates such as a Diwali scavenger hunt & quiz, rangoli patterns for colouring in, Diwali card creation and a Ramayan puppet show retelling the story of Diwali.
Deputy Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Marie Bradburn, joined the celebrations. She said: “The messages of Diwali are universal – of good triumphing over evil – and fostering a culture of giving and volunteerism among the youth. By engaging young people in community service activities from an early age, it helps instil values of empathy, compassion, and social responsibility, which are messages that the whole world needs right now. I am delighted and proud to be a part of these wonderful celebrations by BAPS in Milton Keynes. Thank you for all that you do for our great city.”