Yashvi Shah holds a pose as she prepares for the Diwali Cultural Show 2014 taking place Nov. 1 at Farquhar Auditorium at the University of Victoria.

DIWALI: A celebration of light at UVic

Public invited to annual cultural performance at Farquhar Auditorium

In the great Hindu epic, The Ramayema, Lord Rama returns to Ayodhya after rescuing his wife, Sita, from the king of Lanka.

Upon their return, Sita walks through fire to prove her purity to Rama, igniting a now-centuries old celebration of light in both the Hindu and Sikh calendars.

“Diwali is like our Christmas,” said Sri Devi, cultural co-ordinator and secretary at the Victoria Hindu Parishad.

“This is one of the ancient Hindu festivals, and it’s the biggest and brightest festival in India.”

The largest Diwali festival outside of India takes place each year in Surrey. Island Hindus and Sikhs can’t claim quite the same level of intensity, but their annual Diwali Cultural Show still attracts a sell-out crowd each year to Farquhar Auditorium.

The traditional Diwali celebration takes place over five days during the darkest new moon. An inundation of lights during those evenings is just one component of the celebration, Devi said.

“There’s a spiritual side to this, which is the awareness of the light inside of us. It signifies good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. This awakening of light within us brings compassion and love to all things. That’s the sense of Diwali,” she said.

During Diwali, the front pathways of many Indian homes are  decorated with clay pots and candles. The most traditional observers use clarified butter, or ghee, to burn their oil lamps, although most Canadians today use electric lights, Devi said.

Others create designs with rice and water around walkways to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity..

“Wealth doesn’t mean money, it means family, abundance, happiness. That’s what we want to bring when we say wealth.”

Another big component of Diwali is the food. Families exchange Indian sweets, snacks and chai while inviting family and neighbours into their homes.

Similar culinary treats will be available after the performance at Farquhar Auditorium on Nov. 1, Devi said.

“There’s going to be music and  dance: it’s a variety show, so the audience will get to see vibrant and colourful dancers from classical, folk and Bollywood genres,” she said.

Around 15 groups will perform and will vary in age from kids to seniors.

“It’s our local talent, and we’ve opened the stage to everyone,” Devi said.

“We do see the larger Victoria population coming to see this, it really is open to everyone,” Devi said. “Expect a colourful, vibrant and entertaining evening.”

The evening kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

Tickets for the Diwali Cultural Show are $15 and can be purchased at the UVic Ticket Centre by calling 250-721-8480 or online at tickets.uvic.ca.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Police incident closes Millstream northbound off-ramp

Traffic affected on Highway 1 was affected

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read