News Happy Diwali What is Diwali? Diwali is the Indian ‘festival of lights’ and is something that many of those we work with will have celebrated over the weekend and will continue to do so this week. The official day for Diwali was yesterday, Sunday 30th October, but the five day event takes the celebrations right through until Thursday. The festival is a spiritual celebration originating in India and focuses on the victory of good defeating evil, hope over despair and knowledge over ignorance. This is represented by all of the lights and candles people decorate their homes with over this occasion. How do people celebrate? All over the world, people will celebrate by lighting up their houses, having parties, saying prayers and sharing gifts. You’ll also hear and see lots of fireworks at this time. Prior to this though, families will clean out their homes and buy new clothes to wear on Diwali night as a sign of good fortune. Families will then exchange gifts and eat traditional Diwali sweets. Diwali is seen as a prosperous time and many also begin new business ventures over this period. Those who celebrate also hope that the five days will bring the goddess of wealth into their lives. To encourage this they light oil lamps in their doors and windows to welcome her in. How we are celebrating... This year we are celebrating the festival of lights with our own Diwali fundraising event in Colchester. We are hosting ‘A taste of India’ where 50 people will be joining us to celebrate Indian culture. We’ll be lighting lots of candles and enjoying performances from Bollywood dancers as we eat traditional Indian food. There will also be a henna artist and an India cooking demonstration which will help to bring a flavour of Indian culture to the UK. If you’re doing something for Diwali let us know by getting in touch. You can send us a message on Facebook or Twitter, or share your pictures with us on Instagram.