Diwali, also called Deepavali which means 'row of lamps', is a Hindu festival which starts on Dhanteras usually falls 18 days after the Dussehra festival. This festival originated in Treta Yuga (era) when Lord Rama was victorious in battle over the demon Ravana and returned to his kingdom Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. To mark the return of their king, the people lit their city with millions of earthen lamps and to this day it is celebrated as Diwali.
One of the most important festivals of Hindus, it is celebrated by wearing new clothes, sharing sweets with family, friends and neighbours, and lighting small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the victory of good over evil and to welcome the goddess Lakshmi into their homes. Firecrackers are lit to drive evil spirits away.
A potter in Amritsar, India, paints earthenware lamps ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.. Image courtesy of blogs.ft.com
To join in the celebrations of this multicultural event, head over to Sandown Race Course at 591 - 659 Princes Highway in Springvale on 19 October 2014. Gates open at 11.30am and close at 9.30pm. There is free ample car parking at the venue along with under cover stalls and full security and police presence. This is an alcohol and meat free event. Tickets can be purchased at Gate 2 at the Ticket Booth at a cost of $5 per entry. Children under 12 and those with seniors cards (age 60 plus) are free.
If you are coming from the city and going towards Dandenong, after you cross Springvale Road, at approximately 500 metres, you will see a Bunnings Store (now closed for business) on the left hand side. After the Bunnings Store drive-in there is a turn-off that reads Sandown Racecourse. This turn-off road takes you on top of the overpass bridge that crosses Princes Highway. Once you are on this bridge, that road will lead you right to the venue ticket booth entrance.
If you are coming from Dandenong and going towards the city, there is a gate on your left hand side before the overhead bridge. Take that gate and this will bring you right to the venue ticket booth entrance.
If you are coming by train, take the Pakenham, Dandenong or Cranbourne line; the closest station is Sandown Park. Get off at this station, and come in through the pedestrian gate (no vehicle access at this gate).
AIII welcomes the involvement of all communities to this event. This year they are presenting the celebrated chef Harpal Singh Sokhi who hails from north India and speaks six languages fluently (English, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya and Telugu). A lover of music and a graduate from the catering school at Bhubaneshwar, his research led to the link between Ayurveda and food. He strongly believes in the health conscious world of today. India cannot have a better blend of food and health if the Ayurveda beliefs were missing.
If you are an organisation that wants to be a part of this great event by participating as a sponsor, full details of the packages are on the website. If you would like to have a stall at the festival, click here for details.
Indian sweets for Diwali. Image courtesy of commons wikemedia.org
If you love all things Indian and Bollywood, this is the place to be for activities, gala stage performers, singers, musicians, dancers, glamorous fashion show, tantalising food, children's rides, Cricket Australia camp, henna and tattoo stalls, CD and DVD bargains and a host of other surprising stalls including fireworks to top off the celebrations.
For further information contact Hari Yellina on 0439 32 32 32 email: firstname.lastname@example.org