Search

Crowds in Ilford celebrate nine-day Hindu festival Navratri

11:30 20 April 2013

Prayers were read and flowers and seeds distributed at the VHP Ilford Hindu Centre

Prayers were read and flowers and seeds distributed at the VHP Ilford Hindu Centre

Archant

Barley seeds were planted, food was eaten and mantras were chanted at a Hindu temple as a nine-day festival kicked off.

The seeds, which are considered to be precious, were planted and placed in front of a statue of goddess Durga at the VHP Ilford Hindu Centre, Cleveland Road, Ilford.

Some Hindus will fast during the festival of Navratri as an act of devotion to Lord Vishnu.

The festival, which started last week, marks when Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, came down to Earth in human form.

Vijay Khetarpal, secretary of the temple, said: “Barley seeds are the most precious seeds of them all. After nine days they will grow into long grass.

“They are planted in a small pot in the temple and placed in front of Goddess Durga. She’s the goddess of truth and power.”

More than 300 people went to the temple on Thursday of last week but numbers reached up to 1,000 over the weekend.

Mr Khetarpal said: “We visit the temple during the festival.

“When the seeds grow it means the gods are happy with the offering and it has been accepted. It makes you really happy, healthy and brings prosperity into everybody’s home.”

The temple’s priest Dharmeh Mista performed the opening ritual, together with some of the members of the congregation.

“It started with the recital of Ganesh’s mantra and then the priest explained why we are celebrating,” Mr Khetarpal added.

“After that sweets, fruits and nuts are eaten, which is a tradition.”

People visiting temples sing and chant mantras and devotional songs and there are also prayers and food is prepared for everyone.

After the ceremony, members of the congregation ate a vegetarian meal together – something which will be repeated on each day of the festival.

Mr Khetarpal said: “It’s a joyful festival and people greet and visit each other and wear colourful clothes. There’s lots of laughing.”

0 comments

Latest Ilford News Stories

17 minutes ago
Soaring on the trampoline.

From badminton and basketball to trampolining and tennis, children had the opportunity to try a range of activities at a summer multi-sports camp.

Children enjoying a Pokemon Go party at the Redbridge Central Library

Children were hunting for Pikachu among the books on Tuesday, as Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, in Ilford, hosted a Pokémon Go session.

Two grass fires are being attended to by Dagenham firefighters Picture: PA Images

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers were called to a grass fire off Meadgate Avenue in Woodford Green, on Tuesday aftenoon.

The rubble outside the Shell garage on Ley Street after a driver crashed into the wall.

Police and firefighters were called after a car ploughed into a wall outside a petrol station last night.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now