Over two thousand members of the Hindu community gathered at the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple for their New Year’s celebrations on Thursday.

The temple was piled high with food to offer to their God as a mark of gratitude.

Project Development Officer for the Bolton Hindu Forum, Paras Agravat said: “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.”

The food had been displayed on the steps leading up to Hindu Gods on the lit-up stage.

Located on Adelaide Street, the temple had both the inside and outside decorated with bright fairy lights for their celebrations.

Everyone was dressed in stunning bright outfits, matching the beautiful decorations that were hanging from the walls and ceilings.

Rangoli designs and patterns made from coloured powders were displayed at the entrance to the temple.

Niharika Vishram who helped with decorating the temple said: “All the decorations took two weeks to hang and stick up by volunteers within the community.

“We had at least 30 volunteers helping out over the last few weekends with some staying until 11pm to finish off.

Niharika also helps the temple run clubs for children as well as days out for them and religious classes.

The 24-year-old added: “No one can walk from the car park to the entrance without getting stopped by people they know, if it’s not for a hug, then it’ll be for a selfie.

“It’s a really nice atmosphere and you can feel how positive and happy everyone is. We forget that it’s miserable and grey outside and focus on being able to celebrate this special occasion together.”

Volunteers at the temple put together over 1200 boxes of hand-made savoury goodies to give out to everyone after the ceremony.

After the ceremony ends, the food is served downstairs and then worshipers leave to visit different temples around Bolton.

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

Niharika said: “The kitchen has been open since 4.30am making curries and volunteers started arriving an hour after to help assemble all of the food displays.

“This five-day celebration brings out the best in people and everyone wants to come and help out when they’re needed.”

Money is donated to the temple as a kind gesture from those that have come to worship and eat. The Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple also donates money and clothes to the less fortunate in Bolton.

Hugs are given, pictures are taken, and food is eaten.

The overall day is used to focus on religious beliefs and the importance of their family.