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Diwali Fest celebrated at Surrey City Hall

Festival of Lights helps herald the new year

Surrey City Hall was busy with people celebrating Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, on Sunday (Nov. 5), with Diwali Fest, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

A celebration of life and new beginnings, Diwali Fest 2023 kicked off with a Mehendi night Oct. 26 in Surrey, with different activities planned throughout the city to celebrate the holiday.

The main lobby of city hall featured several vendors, crafts tables for children, and plenty of seats for the theatre set off to the side, where several artists performed, as well as a food truck and vendors outside, in the city hall plaza, as well.

“Diwali is the biggest festival celebrated in India and on the Indian sub-continent,” said Ashwani Narwani, a member of the Diwali Fest board.

READ ALSO: In-person Diwali celebrations return to Surrey after 2 years of muted festivities

“It is primarily celebrated by people of the Hindu community, but it is cross-denominational… and it is celebrated around the world.”

Narwani said the celebration is similar to Chinese New Year, or Christmas.

“It’s people basically celebrating the new year coming on – it follows the lunar calendar, so it changes every year. It falls on the 12th this year. It’s a five-day festival,” he explained.

“The biggest day is the 12th – on that day, people won’t come around as much – kind of like Christmas day, you meet with family and friends and exchange gifts.”

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Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
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