Diyas (lamps) are lit during Diwali celebrations in Surrey and around the world. (Photo: wikimedia.org)

Diyas (lamps) are lit during Diwali celebrations in Surrey and around the world. (Photo: wikimedia.org)

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

‘Festival of Lights’ in Surrey kicked off with free event at city hall

Diwali celebrations are planned in Surrey and across Metro Vancouver over the next two weeks, starting with a free Diwali Downtown Surrey event last Sunday, Oct. 16.

The “Festival of Lights” is considered the biggest, brightest and most popular event on the Indian calendar, notes a post on diwalifest.ca.

“The word diwali means “row of lighted lamps”, with light symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty and knowledge over ignorance,” explains the online hub for Metro Vancouver’s Diwali Fest organization.

“It’s a time for lighting diyas, laying out colorful rangolis, setting off fireworks, exchanging gifts of sweets and celebrating with dance, music and storytelling.”

Diwali usually falls in either October or November, on dates based on the Hindu lunar calendar. In 2022, Diwali is officially marked on Monday, Oct. 24, by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

On Oct. 16, Diwali Downtown Surrey was held at Surrey City Hall from 2 to 5 p.m., in an afternoon of live music, dance performances, rangoli art, diya painting and more.

Other Diwali Fest-presented events follow at venues in Vancouver, including Oct. 20-21 at Vancouver Public Library and a Diwali Downtown Vancouver gathering Oct. 23 at Roundhouse Community Centre. Check diwalifest.ca/upcoming-events for details.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Last year, with COVID-related restrictions, Diwali was celebrated with both online and in-person events.

• RELATED STORY from 2021: Canada Post’s new Diwali stamp created with help of Surrey business owner.

In 2020, Surrey’s mayor and board of trade CEO were among those urging residents and businesses to not gather for Diwali celebrations, in line with health and safety protocols at the time.

For 2022, other Diwali gatherings are planned locally:

Diwali Gala presented by Fraser Valley Desis on Friday, Oct. 21 at Kanna Banquet Hall, near Scott Road Station, Surrey, featuring food, dance, music, fireworks, fashion and more. Contact Vikas (778-855-4155) or Monika (604-704-7966) for tickets. Info: facebook.com/events/745109776536708.

Diwali Ladies-Only Dance Party Oct. 23 at Empire Banquet Hall in Newton, doors 5 p.m. at 12888 80 Ave. “Best sound and DJ plus Balvir Boparai, Dolisha and Sukh Ghuman will be performing.” For info, search “Ladies Dance Party (Diwali Special)” on eventbrite.ca.

Mega Diwali Show hosted by V4U Entertainment and Gujarati Society of B.C., on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Mirage Banquet Hall. “Everyone is invited to join this sparkling event to enjoy a unique light show, traditional Diwali activities and a festive cultural entertainment program lined up for the evening.” Tickets are $40. Info: facebook.com/V4ULive, or call Vikas Gautam, 604-377-0307. Event supports Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

In Vancouver, the NHL Canucks will host another special Diwali-night hockey game, on Monday, Oct. 24 vs. Carolina Hurricanes. The team’s Diwali-themed merchandise, including T-shirts, jerseys, pucks and more, can be purchased on vanbase.ca.

• READ MORE: In 2019: Diwali drew more fireworks complaints than Halloween, Surrey RCMP say.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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