Fes­ti­val of lights marked in Toko­roa

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

The South Waikato Di­wali cel­e­bra­tions com­mit­tee is gear­ing up to cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val of lights with the com­mu­nity.

Or­gan­is­ers Mo­han Lal and Lalita Sud­haker are ex­cited to be open­ing the fes­ti­val to the wider com­mu­nity.

‘‘We have been hold­ing this fes­ti­val in Toko­roa for 12 years, at first we held it at our home with close friends and fam­ily and it has grown.’’

Last year Taupo MP Louise Upston at­tended the fes­ti­val at the Toko­roa Cinema.

Fes­ti­val of Lights is a very im­por­tant event in the In­dian cal­en­dar and is cel­e­brated all around the world. To­day this fes­ti­val has be­come an im­por­tant oc­ca­sion and is also cel­e­brated in the New Zealand Par­lia­ment.

Di­wali Fes­ti­val of lights is also known as Deep­awali. It marks the New Year in the In­dian Cal­en­dar.

Tra­di­tion­ally the fes­ti­val of lights is marked by four days of cel­e­bra­tion, which lit­er­ally il­lu­mines the coun­try.

Each of the four days in the fes­ti­val of Di­wali is sep­a­rated by a dif­fer­ent tra­di­tion.

‘‘What re­mains true and con­stant is the cel­e­bra­tion of life, its en­joy­ment and good­ness. His­tor­i­cally, the ori­gin of Di­wali can be traced back to an­cient In­dia,’’ Mr Lal said.

The pro­gramme for the evening in­cludes per­for­mances by In­dian dancers, Rock n Roll Club, in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances and the the sig­nif­i­cant light­ing of can­dles. There will also be a three-course In­dian meal.

Guest speak­ers dur­ing the night in­clude lo­cal MP Louise Upston and South Waikato District Mayor Neil Sin­clair. Tick­ets for the Fes­ti­val of Lights are avail­able from Toko­roa Cinema and from Ms Sud­hakar at the South Waikato District Li­brary at a cost of $20.

Mr Mo­han Lal, chair­man of the Di­wali com­mit­tee ex­plained the sig­nif­i­cance of the can­dles.

‘‘The light burns to show light to oth­ers mean­ing self­less sac­ri­fices for oth­ers, car­ing for oth­ers in the com­mu­nity with­out any ex­pec­ta­tion. To cre­ate a light, we need a uten­sil to hold the oil in; it needs a wick, matches, air and a per­son to light the match.

‘‘ This sig­ni­fies the co­op­er­a­tion with oth­ers to achieve higher ideals in life and for the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Dark­ness rep­re­sents ig­no­rance and the light is a metaphor for knowl­edge. There­fore, light­ing a can­dle sig­ni­fies the de­struc­tion, through knowl­edge, of all neg­a­tive forces,’’ Mr Lal said.

The Di­wali Fes­ti­val of Lights will be held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Toko­roa Cam­pus, Oc­to­ber 15 be­gin­ning at 6pm. Tick­ets are $20 and avail­able from the Toko­roa Li­brary and the Toko­roa Cinema. For more in­for­ma­tion or if you would like to help dur­ing the fes­ti­val con­tact Mr Lal on 07 886 557 or email mo­han­lal@xtra.co.nz.

Photo: SUPPLIED.

DI­WALI:

Taupo MP, Louise Upston cel­e­brated Di­wali in Toko­roa last year.

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