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Diwali Celebrations at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London
Friday 12th November, 2004


The last day of the Hindu year is considered to be one of the most auspicious and is celebrated with Diwali - the 'Festival of Lights'. Today, business owners open new books as their existing accounts are closed during the Lakshmi Pujan - Chopda Pujan -ceremony. This year's festival was celebrated with great splendour and tradition on Friday 12 November 2004 as devotees and visitors streamed into the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden from early morning for darshan.

The sacred deities in the Mandir shrines were beautifully adorned with rich clothes and ornaments. Following the evening ãrti at 6.30pm, devotees and well-wishers gathered in the Haveli for the Chopdã Poojan ceremony, which commenced at 7.00pm. Hundreds of new account books were sanctified through the showering of flowers petals and rice grains, amidst the chanting of Vedic hymns and prayers to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

The highlight of the evening for both young and old was the annual fireworks display which commenced at 9pm. For thirty minutes, countless spectators, including local residents and passers-by, were stunned by the spectacular display which illuminated a cold, dark November night with the light and beauty of Indian culture.

As the crowds dispersed, the volunteers continued their preparations for the following day's New Year's Annakut.


© 2004, Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith