THOUSANDS of Hindu community members took time off work and school to celebrate the new year as part of Diwali celebrations.

The Hindu community gathered at Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple to have 'Ankut’ where blessed food and sweets are offered to the Gods and later shared with congregations and all visitors from the community.

The Chairman of the Temple, Ganshyam Patel said: “It’s a wonderful time for the community to dress up and come together.”

Located on Deane Road, the temple had both the inside and outside decorated with beautiful lights for their celebrations.

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

Mr Patel said: “People have been able to get time off work and school to come and celebrate together.

“Those who haven’t been able to get the time off work, such as teachers, will come later on in the day to celebrate.”

Volunteers put together over 1,000 boxes of hand-made savoury goodies to give out to everyone after the ceremony.

The day is used to emphasise the religious teachings and the importance of family.