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 News Stories

07:00
Redbridge police crack down on brothels in the borough. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/PA Images

Police have shut down 11 suspected brothels in the past month, according to new crime figures.

Yesterday, 18:36
Wes Streeting MP speaking at a Google business seminar

Plans to close King George Hospital’s A&E overnight are being drawn up as the first step to downgrading it altogether, Ilford North’s MP has claimed.

Yesterday, 17:37
Time FM Steve Allen hosts the weekly chat with the Recorder

Parking, Gallows Corner and Australia’s answer to Nigella Lawson were the topics dissected at last week’s Time 107.5 FM weekly paper review.

Yesterday, 14:30
Humanist speaker Bob Churchill. Picture: International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)

People should be able to talk freely about religion without fear of persecution, a humanist speaker has said.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe