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Diwali celebrations light up Glasgow Commonwealth Wood

Published on: Wednesday 23rd October 2013

Diwali celebrations light up Glasgow Commonwealth Wood

Firecrackers, Diya decorations, lanterns and dance performances are some of the elements of the Diwali festival that will be celebrated by hundreds of local people at a Glasgow Commonwealth wood next week (Sunday 27 October 2013).

The annual festival celebrated by Hindus is known as  ‘Diwali’ the ‘Festival of Lights.’

It’s the first time it will be celebrated at Garscadden Wood in Drumchapel, one of a network of 13 Commonwealth Woods across Glasgow that are to be a legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The multi-cultural event invites local people and community groups to take part in a range of activities including forest walks with lantern lights, Indian storytelling and Rangoli demonstrations (traditional Hindu floor designs with coloured sand). There will also be entertainment such as fire juggling, puppet shows and traditional Hindu dancing and music performances.

Romena Huq, Engagement Officer for the Forestry Commission Scotland, said: “This is the first time we are celebrating Diwali in a Commonwealth Wood and it’s a great opportunity for everyone in the local community to get involved in something they might not have done before. This cultural event brings together aspects of a traditional Indian festival and places it in a unique woodland setting. No matter how old you are or ability, everyone can take part in the exciting activities and entertainment.”

Glasgow-based environmental artist, Nikki Pardasani, is helping to organise the event and regularly works with community groups to encourage them to take part in different activities in their local woods, such as craft workshops, foraging skills, den building and yoga.

Nikki is working with St Clare’s Primary after school group, Hindu Mandir kids group, Drumchapel afterschool group and Chesters Nursery School to educate children about Diwali and involve them in making various traditional decorations to be displayed during the event.

She said: “The woods are a great open space to use for lots of activities, such as sports, craft making or simply exploring and getting active. It offers a great back drop for this amazing festival where local people regardless of their background or faith can come together to celebrate culture and have fun.

“As Diwali is a vibrant and visual festival, we will be holding craft workshops to make traditional and colourful decorations to display during the festivities.”

The free event aims to encourage people of any age and of mixed ability to celebrate and support the Festival of Lights in their local wood. 

Time schedule

3.00-4.00: Rangoli demonstration, Puja ceremony and lantern making

4.00-4.45: Drumming and percussion workshop

5.15-5.30: Dance performance and tribal jungle dance

5.30-6.15: Storytelling walk in the Forest of Lights

6.15-6.45: Fire show, puppetry and drumming performances


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