Indian Cultural Association of Limerick enjoyed a celebration of Diwali with cultural performances, fireworks, and delicious feasts.
Diwali takes place annually and lasts for five days, marking the start of the Hindu New Year
By I Love Limerick correspondent Vinita Malu
On the last Sunday of October, the Indian Cultural Association of Limerick (ICAL) celebrated its first Diwali party in Limerick’s GAA Club. More than 200+ people enjoyed the grand Diwali party with family and friends.
The Diwali party was open to people from all communities. The GAA Club Hall was beautifully decorated with flowers and lamps. The attendees relished the cultural events, music, dancing, games, fireworks, delicious snacks, and dinner.
Diwali is one of the most important festivals celebrated by thousands of people in different countries all around the world. The festival is a time for feasts, prayers, and fireworks. Diwali is popularly known as the festival of lights, as people illuminate oil lamps or candles to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
The Indian Cultural Association of Limerick members welcomed the participants to the Diwali party at 2pm. The attendees were asked to pre-register for the event to arrange for the best. It was amazing to see the guests dressed in beautiful and colourful outfits. The Diwali party started with a small prayer and lamp lightning followed by stunning cultural performances, especially by the kids. The performances began with a short narration by a 9-year-old boy on the reason behind the Diwali celebration, followed by shlokas, songs, and dances. The viewers were surprised and delighted to see the kids performing so well. The performers were rewarded with not just huge applause but also with some gifts from ICAL.
Next, games like Bingo, Iski topi uske sar (a cap game for couples), and a raffle draw were organized. All the Diwali party attendees had fun playing the games. The winners of the games were asked to perform a dance or sing a song before collecting the prize.
The DJ at the Diwali party was the cherry on top. It was gala time, dancing to different Bollywood music numbers. The dancers at the party mentioned that the calories burnt while dancing was later gained from the vast and yummy dinner served at the event. Finally, at 8pm, the fireworks, like sparkles and lanterns, were lit.
Diwali (also called Divali or Deepavali) comes from the Sanskrit word dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” During this festival, people decorate their homes with lights and oil lamps, called diyas. People draw rangoli (beautiful patterns made using colorful powders and flowers) on the floor by the entrance of their homes to welcome the gods and bring good luck.
Every region in India has distinctive traditions for commemorating this festival, but the motive for celebrating the festival is the same. The triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and wisdom over ignorance.
For Hindus, this is linked to the ancient legend of Lord Rama, who was deprived of his kingdom and sent into exile for 14 years. Diwali celebrates Rama’s eventual defeat of the evil spirit Ravana and his triumphant return to his home. For Sikhs, the celebration highlights the release of Guru Hargobind Singh from prison and his return to Amritsar. For Jains, it is a time to celebrate Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, and the moment reached a state of enlightenment.
Diwali takes place annually and lasts for five days, marking the start of the Hindu New Year. The exact dates change each year and are determined by the moon’s position – but it usually falls between October and November. This year Diwali was celebrated on October 24. On Diwali night (the third day of the five days of Diwali), most people offer prayers to Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and prosperity), Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge and music), Ganesh (the god of good beginnings), and Rama (the God of protection).
Diwali is a time to have fun with family and friends, enjoy delicious feasts, watch fireworks, and wear beautiful clothes. It was wonderful that the attendees had a great time this year at ICAL’s first Diwali party in Limerick.
“We were delighted to see an overwhelming response at the Diwali party. This encourages ICAL to conduct many more such cultural events in Limerick and bring different communities together,” said Soumen Pahari, a member of ICAL.
Find out more about the Indian Cultural Association of Limerick
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