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Australian skies light up in celebration of Deepavali



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Senator Kate Lundy Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship

Australian skies light up in celebration of Deepavali Monday, 25 October 2010

The Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Kate Lundy, today extended her warmest wishes to all Australians celebrating Deepavali (known as Diwali in northern India) around the nation.

Fireworks will light the skies over Melbourne and Sydney in late October and early November as Australians of the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths celebrate Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights.

'Deepavali gives all Australians the opportunity to join in the celebration of a unique religious festival and enjoy the different traditions of these faiths,' Senator Lundy said.

During the festival, homes are decorated, sweets are distributed and thousands of lamps lit to represent the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

For Hindus, it marks the return of Lord Rama from a long exile. The people of his kingdom lit rows of lamps to celebrate his return and guide him home.

For Sikhs, Deepavali commemorates the return of the sixth Guru, Guru Har Gobind from captivity in the city of Gwalior. To appreciate his commitment to Sikhism, people lit the way to the Golden Temple in his honour.

For Jains, Deepavali is one of the most important festivals as it marks the occasion of attainment of Nirvana by Lord Mahavira.

'As a culturally diverse society, Australians enjoy many different traditions and celebrations that enrich our lives,' the parliamentary secretary said.

'The celebration of Deepavali is growing in popularity among the Australian public and I hope everyone getting involved enjoys a Shubh Deepavali'.

See: Index of Media releases

URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/parlsec/media/kl/2010/kl153764.htm Last update: Monday, 22 November 2010 at 14:05 AEST