News & Events

Annakut Celebration
Tuesday 5 November 2002

The Diwali and New Year festivities were enthusiastically celebrated at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London. On Diwali day almost 1,000 people participated in the Chopda pujan ceremony, where old books of account are closed and the new books were blessed. The entire local community also enjoyed the spectacular fireworks display watching from the safety of the Gibbons Ground, which unfortunately may not be available next year following a sequence of decisions taken by Brent Council.

On New Years day approximately 45,000 Hindus and well wishers witnessed the now famous display of 1,200 vegetarian dishes, sweet and savoury items. Multicoloured rangoli designs and floral decorations lent to a picturesque grand display which was witnessed by everyone as part of the annual celebrations. The festival of lights was portrayed through a magnificent stage setting against a backdrop of giant lamps celebrating the illumination of light in people lives.

Both young and old, men, women and children participated in the festivities wearing bright new clothes, enjoying snacks and sweets, meeting and rejoicing with relatives and friends in an atmosphere of happiness. Hundreds of volunteers assisted on this most auspicious day helping the elderly and young who had travelled from all over the UK to visit the Mandir. As usual the festival was celebrated on a grand scale based on age old traditions providing joy and happiness lighting a path of goodwill and spirituality for all.

Prayers were offered to Lord Swaminarayan, together with a special message from His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. He prayed for “peace and prosperity throughout the world”