10,000 People To Attend Delhi Blast Victim Memorial Service At Local Diwali Festival
Posted November 4, 2005
10,000 people from different regions of UK coming together at Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna temple near Watford to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights on 6th November 2005, will also participate in a memorial service for the victims and relatives of the Delhi bomb blasts which killed 61 and injured hundreds.
The service which includes lighting of lamps by dignitaries, prayers and chants, and offering of flowers will be part of a bigger festival to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali. Highlights of the festival include colourful dances, traditional costumed artistes, plays from ancient Indian history, free vegetarian meals for everyone, Bullock cart rides, meditation tents, lectures and devotional singing. The day will culminate in one of the largest fireworks displays to spectacularly light up the skies north of London.
"While celebrating Diwali, we thought we should also remember the plight of the victims of the bomb blasts," explained Gauri Dasa, President of Bhaktivedanta Manor. "Diwali is about compassion and sharing of grief is as important as sharing of happiness. Everybody from any background is welcome to the service and the celebrations that will follow - irrespective of their culture, background or faith."
Bhaktivedanta Manor, run by ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishna Movement) attracts the largest Hindu congregation in the country during important Hindu festivals like Janmashtami and Diwali.
The central theme of Diwali is the victory of good over evil and light over darkness - derived from the ancient Indian epic "Ramayana", foretelling the episodic event of Lord Rama, the abduction of His wife Sita and Her return through the intervention of Hanuman, the monkey warrior and his band of soldiers.
"Diwali is a time where family values and social obligations come to the fore through prayers, sacrifice and charity," concluded Gauri Dasa. "Millions of Hindus around the world worship Lord Rama on this day by lighting lamps and sharing a sumptuous vegetarian feast with friends and neighbours."
Contact: Radha-Mohan dasa
Mobile: 07818 815 978
Venue: Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple
Date: 6 November 2004
Time: 7.00 pm
Programme: Dance, drama, feast, memorial service for the bomb blasts and fireworks.
"Diwali" is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu calendar, celebrated by 1 billion Hindus worldwide and 650,000 Hindus across the United Kingdom.
Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, and on this day Hindus meditate on the significance of Diwali wherein light always triumphs over darkness and goodwill conquers evil. It is a festival marked by exchanging of gifts, distribution of sanctified Indian sweets, and new decorations for the home and new clothes for the family.
"Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna temple, originally gifted to ISKCON by Beatle George Harrison is housed in 77 acres of land outside Watford and hosts the largest Hindu festivals in the UK. It has become one of the most important sites of pilgrimage for European and British Hindus, and hosts the only Hindu seminary for priests in the UK.