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Calgarians celebrate Diwali, the Hindu new year

Calgarians celebrated Diwali on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. Tom Andriuk/Global News

Calgarians celebrated Diwali, an ancient festival of light, to mark the Hindu new year on Sunday.

Colourful sarees, candles, drumming and singing filled the temple at ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Calgary.

Hindus believe that their main deity Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya, where he returned after 14 years in exile. To celebrate his return, people light up lamps.

Calgarians celebrated Diwali on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. Tom Andriuk/Global News

The word Diwali means light over darkness, and symbolizes new beginnings.

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“It’s a call to go to light, and light, its significance is knowledge and enlightenment,” said Bamshi Bihari Dasa, a temple congregation member.

“So there are two phases of it. One is what you see in the temple. Everybody is dressed up nicely and there is a lot of light and celebration. The deeper significance is your spiritual life, your inner life where you extol yourself to go to that spiritual enlightenment.”

Sunday was the main day of the five-day festival.

Calgarians celebrated Diwali on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. Tom Andriuk/Global News

With a file from The Associated Press

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