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Diwali celebrations and the meaning behind the festival of lights


Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated by people around the world and across different faiths - Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.

At a Cambridge Hindu temple, preparations are already underway for the festival.

“We’re very busy,” said Dwarka Persaud, president of the Rahda Krishna Mandir and Cultural Centre. “Everybody’s preparing because part of Hinduism is cleanliness is godliness.”

There are five days of festivities focused on getting closer to God and doing good deeds.

MORE: Local youth group donates 400 meals to those in need

“We will always be grateful for what we have because God gave it to us,” said Persaud. “When we leave, we leave without it. So all we leave is the good things that we carry with us.”

The temple will cap off the festival with a fireworks show Sunday evening – a long-time Diwali tradition.

The spike in demand for fireworks is good news for local retailers.

“Diwali is our busiest season,” said Priyam Vyas, the manager at Pataka Fireworks.

Last year they sold around 150 cases of fireworks every day during Diwali.

They expect sales to double in 2023.

“There are so many people who celebrate the Diwali festival, just with the fireworks,” said Vyas. “It is a traditional culture coming from the beginning years. That’s why Diwali is the busiest.”

Fireworks are permitted in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge on Sunday, but only from dusk until 11 p.m. However, not all communities allow fireworks for Diwali without a permit.

Those celebrating the holiday said the most important things are acts of kindness and doing selfless deeds for the greater good.

“Goodness over evil, lightness over darkness, spreading love,” explained Harshika Arora, the owner of Bombay Cuisine Fine Indian Dining in Kitchener. “We are offering free meals because we understand this recession. There’s unfortunately a lot of people who don’t have a lot to eat.”

On Friday, the restaurant shared meat-based and vegetarian dishes with the community.

Some of the food served for Diwali at Bombay Cuisine Fine Indian Dining in Kitchener on Nov. 10.

Not only in celebration of Diwali, but all the holidays.

“There’s Christmas, there’s Hanukkah, New Year’s. We want to make sure that all the communities are taken care of,” Arora added.

Diwali officially begins on Sunday. Top Stories

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