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Enjoy Diwali at Dandenong Market
The festival of Diwali dates back to ancient times and many sources tell different stories about its origin and meaning. It's the biggest festival of the year in India where Diwali is celebrated over 5 days. This year Dandenong Market celebrates Diwali on 15 November 2015. The differing traditional stories about Diwali all include the rows of lights and lamps used to decorate homes, streets and markets. The lights represent the life giving force of the sun and that is why it is also known as the Festival of Lights.
Light with Rangoli, Photo credit: Diwali Facebook Page
The lights also represent the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. It is celebrated on the darkest night of the full moon that falls around the end of October or beginning of November.
It is a time to come together with family and friends. Gifts are exchanged, many foods are eaten, especially sweets and colourful Rangoli art, with a multitude of designs are created in homes and entrances. Rangoli are made with coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand or flowers and petals. The designs are intended to welcome deities and thought to bring luck.
Rangoli Chennai, Photo Credit Artist Unknown, Wikipedia
The festival at Dandenong Market starts at 11am with Traditional Sword Dancing in the Market Square with at second performance at 11.30am. You can watch Rangoli artists create their amazing art from 11am - 12.30pm.
Photo credit, Henna Mehndi Design by Jyothis, Wikipedia
Have you ever wondered how a Turban is tyed? You can see this in action from 11am - 3pm. There will be a Henna artist to decorate your hands and of course dancing. Anyone who has watched a Bollywood movie will know how spectacular Indian dancing is, with the sea of swirling coloured clothing and the jingling of anklets.
From 12 - 1pm there will be a cooking demonstration at 'The Kitchen' from one of the local stall traders, Bhavesh Mahant from Curry and Chaat Corner. He will be making Gulab Jamun, a sweet made from milk solids and cheese dough, shaped into balls and deep fried at low temperature. They are then soaked in a light sugary syrup flavoured with green cardamom and rose water. Also Alloo Bunda, a savoury appetizer made from a potato and spice batter, deep fried and served with chutney.
Alloo Bunda, Photo credit Santhosh Janardhanan, Wikipedia
Russell Bald is the market's resident Chef and he will also be there. Russell has over 18 years experience in many top restaurants and hospitality. He runs regular cooking demos at Dandenong Market's Kitchen every Tuesday and Friday. Check out his recipe for Kesar Pista Rolls, a sweet eaten at Diwali.
Photo Credit, Russell Bald Facebook Page
There will also be face painting from 11am - 2pm for the kids with a Diwali theme. You'll find this in the Bazaar - amongst all the clothes, accessories, jewellery, shoes and handbags.
The events for Diwali are free and there is also free parking on Sundays at Dandenong Market.
Photo credit, Rangoli at Chennai Flickr Rangoli Colour, Wikipedia