In the next two weeks, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains observe the religious festival of lights
Diwali is also known as the festival of lights
Toronto will be alight for the next two weeks with diasporic desis celebrating Diwali, the religious festival of lights observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains on October 19.
Diwali is the celebration of good over evil, and of light, knowledge and hope prevailing over darkness, ignorance and despair. Diwali is about bringing in the new. Preparation begins several days ahead with the cleaning and decorating of homes. Diyas (lamps and candles) are lit. New items of clothing are worn and prayers, gifts and mithai (sweets) are shared between family, friends and neighbours.
Bring some light into your life. Here are 10 ways to celebrate Diwali in Toronto.
BUY MITHAI FROM BENGALI SWEETS AND RESTAURANT IN SCARBOROUGH
Even the simplest of Diwali celebrations includes a trip to the mithai-walla. This halvai (confectioner) oozes festivity. With thousands of brightly coloured edible items displayed, there’s plenty for everyone.
DIWALI MELA 2017
The best way to celebrate Diwali is on the streets among crowds. Little India will be extra lit and extra loud for this annual community event.
October 14, 6pm, Gerrard India Bazaar, free. facebook.com
GRAND DIWALI DINNER AND VARIETY SHOW
The Voice of Dharma Temple presents a dinner with live music by Sur Sangeet Orchestra and dances by Footsteps Dance School.
October 14, 6pm–10pm. Kanthaswamy Banquet Hall (733 Birchmount, Scarborough). $10-25. website.
DIWALI RAZZMATAZZ BY INDO CANADA ARTS COUNCIL
With live Bollywood performances, music, food vendors and a Diwali Bazaar, this festival will be worth the trek to Mississauga.
October 13-14, Mississauga Celebration Square, free. website.
THE GRAND DIWALI TRUNK SHOW
Shopping is central to Diwali but even if you’re not looking to buy, you’ll want to rummage through Pret-È-Ethnic’s selection of couture, prét a porter and jewellery.
October 15, 11am-5pm, 1 Glenayr, Richmond Hill, free. facebook.com.
ATTEND DIWALI PRAYERS – SET AN INTENTION
Sanatan Mandir is a temple for the Gujarati community, but as with all Hindu temples, welcomes everyone. Take some time to be still and quiet while reflecting on what’s passed and what’s to come.
Diwali Poojan October 19 at 6:30pm; New Year Annakut October 20 at 7am. 9333 Woodbine Ave, Markham. Sanatan Mandir.
PARTY ON A CRUISE, PUNJABI STYLE
Wear your sparkliest, traditional Indian outfit for this Bollywood Diwali Night. Friends Entertainment presents dance, bhangra, games and a buffet.
October 20 at 7:30pm, 333 Lakeshore West, $40. Eventbrite.
DIWALI DHAMAKA AT U OF T
Without parents leering, campus parties are always a hit. The Hindu Students Council and Woodsworth College Students’ Association are throwing a party with music, dance and food.
October 20 at 7pm, Kruger Hall, $15. Eventbrite.
THE OLD SCHOOL PARTY
What’s Diwali without the aunties letting loose on the dance floor and the uncles huddled in a corner? Catch it all at Diwali Utsav’s annual party.
October 21 at 7pm, Rose Garden Banquet and Convention Centre, $25-35. Facebook.
Bollywood Social Toronto and Desibeatz combine two holidays in one to bring you a Bollywood-inspired party which is scary and luminous at the same time.
October 27 at 10:30pm, Adelaide Hall, $20. website.
KIDS’ DIWALI CELEBRATION 2017
All the visiting of aunties and temples can get boring for the kids. Even the mithai gets too sweet after ten rounds. So why not ake them to their own event? Diwali should be fun for everyone.
October 28 from 11am-6pm, 61 Claireville, $25. website.