Dez Daljit Mahal, vice-president of India Canada Cultural Association of Victoria, lights a ceremonial diya at the first Diwali celebration held at B.C. Legislature on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. (Keri Coles/Black Press File Photo)

Diwali celebrations happening now in Greater Victoria

The annual multi-faith celebration of light returns to Greater Victoria

Diwali starts on Sunday Oct. 27, 2019. Celebrations return to Greater Victoria for another year of light, joy, food, music and dance. The Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Centre (VHPCC) is hosting a celebration Sunday Oct. 27, 2019, for dujarati Hindus from 3 p.m. at 1934 Cultra Avenue, Saanichton. On Saturday Oct. 26, the VHPCC hosted more than 500 celebrators who wielded sparklers and enjoyed a community dinner together.

The District of Saanich is also holding a celebration on Monday Oct. 28 at the District of Saanich Municipal Hall from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Diwali (pronounced “dee-VAH-lee”) is an important multi-faith religious celebration for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the globe. It is India’s biggest celebration of the year, similar to Christmas for Christians. Participants celebrate with light, family, food, donations to the needy, fireworks and gifts from the end of October to the beginning of November.

Diwali gets it’s name from the rows of clay lamps Indians light outside their homes called dipawali (pronounced “deep-AH-vah-lee”) lit during this time to symbolize the triumph of the inner light that protects participants over spiritual darkness.

Diwali is the last day of the Indian year. The day after Diwali, Monday Oct. 28, 2019 this year, is Indian New Year.

READ ALSO: Diwali Festival celebrated in B.C. Legislature for first time

The B.C. Legislature in Victoria hosted a Diwali celebration for the first time ever Wednesday Nov. 7, 2018, with community leaders, dancers and the lighting of a ceremonial candle by Premier John Horgan.

READ MORE: Diwali brings celebration of light to Saanich

The VHPCC is also holding a Diwali cultural show on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Farquhar Auditorium at the University of Victoria. The program will showcase a variety of Indian dances, Hindi and Punjabi Bollywood songs, and other instrumental and musical entertainment including several local artists. This is the 21st year this show has been organized to bring cultural awareness to Greater Victoria and Southern Vancouver Island.

Tickets to this event are $20 and can be purchased here. As of 10:30 a.m. on Sunday 27 Oct., there were only 55 tickets left! VHPCC expects more than 1,000 to attend.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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