A lively and colourful event took place on 19th October at Charlton Wood Academy to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light. 200 people attended and paraded the paths in Charlton Hayes, waving delicate tissue paper lanterns filled with colourful lights. Throughout the week 90 children from schools across Patchway had taken part in lantern making workshops and the Youth Club had made two huge lanterns; a soaring dove of peace and an oil lamp. Children also learnt Bollywood dancing in some energetic and noisy workshops!
Bollywood dancing, drumming, and lots of Indian music filled the hall at the start of the event. Then everyone enjoyed a traditional Indian meal of vegetable samosas, rice, Tarka Dhal, spiced potato and cauliflower followed by Indian sweets. Henna was busily being painted in elaborate designs on to hands and wrists while children played with Rangoli sand art, making colourful pictures and traditional designs.
As dusk fell the lanterns were lit and we walked together around Charlton Square led by a traditional drummer. People in the surrounding flats peered out of the windows looking at the colourful display below them. As someone replied when asked had they learnt anything about Diwali, “That it brings the community together” and this event certainly did just that.
This is the second year of Diwali in Patchway, run in partnership between Avon Indian Community Association, Patchway Festival Committee and Southern Brooks Community Partnerships. With many thanks to the funders South Gloucestershire Council and Patchway Festival Committee (via Patchway Town Council) to the venue Charlton Wood Academy, Ruth and Dee the community artists and student volunteers from UWE.