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Diwali 2018: Communities come together in Chigwell to celebrate festival of lights

PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:21 07 November 2018

More than 150 attended the switching on of Diwali lights at The Green, in High Road, Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi Bhanot

More than 150 attended the switching on of Diwali lights at The Green, in High Road, Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi Bhanot

Archant

More than 150 people came together at a Chigwell banqueting hall to celebrate the festival of lights with dancing, singing and fireworks.

More than 150 attended the switching on of Diwali lights at The Green, in High Road, Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi BhanotMore than 150 attended the switching on of Diwali lights at The Green, in High Road, Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi Bhanot

Guests packed out Victoria Hall, in High Road, to celebrate a “Diwali Night” organised by the Light Up London Committee on Saturday November 3.

The highlight of the evening entertainment was the plate-spinning antics of Kamlesh Patel.

Ravi Bhanot, the committee’s Ilford chairman, said that Kamlesh is “regarded by some as the best artist in India at present”.

He added: “Kamlesh is paralysed and has no use of his legs but he defies the odds in his performances.”

Kamlesh Patel performs during Diwali Night in Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi BhanotKamlesh Patel performs during Diwali Night in Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi Bhanot

Also on the bill was south Asian dance troupe the Archarya Team lead by Srimati Samudrala.

“They are here on a mission to spread the peace and equality principles that were given by their guru Jagadguru Ramanujacharya 1,000 years ago,” Ravi explained.

Ravi is also a secretary of the VHP Temple, in Cleveland Road, and owner of pharmacy Coolherbals, in Green Lane.

Commenting on the meaning of Diwali, Ravi said: “Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate Diwali as it signifies light over darkness.

Kamlesh Patel performs during Diwali Night in Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi BhanotKamlesh Patel performs during Diwali Night in Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi Bhanot

“Diwali is all about lights, enjoying sweets and getting together.

“This was certainly true of our Diwali event.”

This year, the festival is set to fall place on Wednesday, November 7,

Its date changes every year based on the Hindu lunar calendar, known as Tithi.

More than 150 attended the switching on of Diwali lights at The Green, in High Road, Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi BhanotMore than 150 attended the switching on of Diwali lights at The Green, in High Road, Chigwell on Saturday, November 3. Photo: Ravi Bhanot

While traditionally considered Hindu it is celebrated by other faiths too, marked with street parties and firework displays.

Over the course of the evening, speeches were delivered by Buckhurst Hill Cllr Aniket Patel and Ranjot Singh OBE among others.

The event then moved on to The Green, in High Road, where neon lights spelling out words “Happy Diwali”, mounted on a wooden structure, were switched on by Chigwell Parish chairman Cllr Darshan Sunger.

Darshan Sunger said: “We are grateful to the Jewish community for letting the lights be set up on their structure at The Green.

“I thank the community of Chigwell and the surrounding area.

“People from all backgrounds and religions came to enjoy Diwali with us.”

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