THE festival of light is being celebrated this week within the local Hindu community.

Diwali meaning row of lighted lamps, is the festival of lights which is celebrated each year in the Autumn.

Diwali will be celebrated in Hindu temples today.

The festival symbolises the spiritual ‘victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.’

Preparations and rituals for the festival usually last five days.

In Bolton, Diwali celebrations started in mid-October with Dusshera — the burning of an evil demon.

The festival coincides with the Hindu New Year, celebrating new beginnings and the triumph of light over darkness.

Project Development Officer for Bolton Hindu Forum, Paras Agravat said: “Diwali is a huge celebration in the Hindu community and our New Year is even bigger.

“We call our New Year ‘Annkot’ which translates to ‘Mountain of Food’, so you can imagine how visual the events are revolving around light and food.”

“This week-long celebration is like our Christmas and Eid. Families come together and celebrate with food so it’s really enjoyable for everyone.”

Over 50 different dishes will be served to families in the six temples across Bolton on Thursday to celebrate.

In addition, as part of the Bolton Light Festival the Bolton Hindu Forum are holding sessions for lantern making before they are showcased in a lantern parade at the Christmas lights switch-on on November 22.

Extra sessions have been added for lantern making on Saturday, November 17, at the Market Place.

Places for these sessions are limited so if you would like to attend, please register by contacting the Bolton Hindu Forum on: 01204 238018.