Sikhs celebrate Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas at Ilford gurdwara
PUBLISHED: 18:23 24 October 2014 | UPDATED: 18:29 24 October 2014
The streets lit up last night as hundreds of Sikhs celebrated Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.
People lined the streets, set off fireworks and lit lamps - called diyas - to celebrate the festivals at the Karamsar Gurdwara in High Road, Ilford.
Diwali - the festival of lights - is celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus and Jains, not only to invite the Hindu goddess of wealth Lakshmi into people’s homes, but to celebrate a successful harvest and mark the Sikh, Hindu and Jain new year.
Bandi Chhor Divas, which falls at the same time, celebrates the release of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind, from prison in 1619, after he was imprisoned by a Mughal emperor.
At the celebrations, Manjeet Kaur, from Stamford Hill, said: “It’s great to come together and celebrate a new beginning. I love everything about this time of year, it’s the fireworks, the food and visiting family and friends.”
She added: “I come here from Stamford Hill every week to this gurdwara because this gurdwara is special - it’s just nice to come here with the kids and get away from home.”