Diwali on the Square Monday, 16 October 2006
Yesterday I paid a visit to Diwali on the Square - the Hindu "Festival of Lights" which is held every year on Trafalgar Square. The celebration symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind.

It was a very well attended event, with the square rather jam-packed. The fountains were switched off, and some wonderful lotus flower lamps were floating there. Though the majority of folk were of Asian origin (naturally), it was touching to see I wasn't the only white person there! There were others, including a heavily pierced and tattooed fellow!

Many people came onto the stage to give their well-wishes, including a spokesperson of the Hare Krishna sect. He had us all with our hands in the air, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra for Tony Blair! When one woman stepped up to the mike and wished us "Aum Shanti", I just cried out "Aum Shanti!" in answer, and did not care what people around me thought! We were in this together!

My only disappointment was the lack of any art and craft stalls. It would have been a lovely addition to the experience. But then, Diwali is an important event in the Hindu calendar, so I can't imagine anyone wishing to work on such a day!
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