It’s time to lighten up the dark! November is the month for fireworks, bonfires and the Hindu celebration of Diwali. All these events encourage people to gather and celebrate. Together, we banish the darkness with uplifting activities that warm the heart and soul.
Holy Cow Community is delighted to invite you to Aylesbury’s Festival of Lights celebration on Sunday 19 November. This community event is open to everyone. Join us at the Discover Bucks Museum in Aylesbury for a taste of India from midday until 4pm.
Aylesbury Festival of Light Activities
Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, trustees, volunteers and performers, we promise you music, dancing, yoga, henna painting and chanting. What’s more, we have Indian tea and samosas to warm you from the inside out.
For the modest £2.50 entrance fee (under 4’s free), you can watch professional performers and also get involved. Are you ready to learn a few Bollywood dance moves or try a yoga flow? Maybe you would like to try on a sari or have a henna design painted on your hand.
This family festival honours the Hindu Diwali celebration, so the event is launched with an opening prayer, led by Arsha Dipa. We also provide an opportunity to engage in spiritual chanting and light a candle to send a prayer onto the water in a miniature bamboo boat.
The Light Parade
From 4.30pm, a parade of light will depart from the Discover Bucks Museum garden, winding through old Aylesbury to the Market Square. As Dowl drummers provide the rhythm, young and old will carry lanterns to light up our streets. Our event will end with a fire show in the Town Centre. It is free to come and cheer on the parade and join us for the grand finale.
Festive Road has led lantern making and Preet Kaur Cox rangoli installation displayed in the community gallery in the museum through November. The lanterns will form part of our parade and who knows what else you might see!
What is Diwali?
Diwali is the most important festival of the year for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. It symbolises the spiritual victory of light over dark. It brings families and the community together for enlightenment and positive interactions to move our thoughts away from darkness.
Traditionally, Diwali is a 5-day celebration. Each day has special significance and provides the opportunity to devote time to family, friends and prayer. We decorate the floor at the entrance to homes and temples with intricate Rangoli designs. These colourful artworks are created from coloured rice, flour and petals to welcome people and spirits in.
In addition, we light small Diya candles to adorn homes and temples to ward off the darkness. Many people take part in lighting a candle and setting it adrift on rivers and streams. These are sent with a prayer of hope and blessings.
What better way to find light and positivity than by coming together, experiencing uplifting music and dance, tasting delicious food and getting creative?
The official Diwali festival of lights occurs on 12 November this year, and we are extending our celebrations with this community event in Aylesbury on the afternoon of Sunday 19 November.
Our Event Supporters
Holy Cow Community is a small charity, with three trustees and we could not put on this event without our supporters. We appreciate the funding and support received from the William Harding Trust, Rothschild Foundation, The Anson Charitable Trust, Oxford Business College, Discover Bucks Museum, Brit Ponds, Photo Hello and Holy Cow Home.
We are also grateful to have a team of dedicated volunteers who will be ensuring the event runs smoothly and everyone feels welcome.
We are delighted to announce that our VIP guests include Countess Howe, the Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, George and Kirsty Anson and Aylesbury Mayor, Cllr Steven Lambert.
Equally, everyone who comes along and joins in is an event supporter. So, bring the family for a unique taste of India in the heart of Aylesbury!
Not Forgetting the Cricket!
As a final note, we realise that our event clashes with the Cricket World Cup final, hosted by India. The home team are performing well and cricket is akin to a religion for many in our community. The event is due to be aired live from 8:30am.
We are exploring options for showing the match as part of the Festival of Lights. At the very least, cricket enthusiasts are welcome to join us at the Fire Show in Aylesbury Market Square!