WIMBORNE Hospital and Wells for India are to benefit from a brand new festival to be staged in the town on Saturday 17th November.
Organiser Moe Kochar from The Red Fort restaurant said he had wanted to organise a Diwali Festival - the festival of light - for some time and was only able to do it now thanks to the support of the Wimborne BID, East Dorset District Council, the Priest's House Museum, Walford Mill Crafts and Kiteley's Solicitors.
Moe, who was born and bred in Wimborne explained that Diwali was the most well-know of the Hindu festivals.
"The word Diwali means 'rows of lighted lamps', he said. "Diwali is known as the 'festival of lights' because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called diyas."
He continued: "For many Indians this five-day festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. People start the new business year at Diwali, and some Hindus will say prayers to the goddess for a successful year. Lamps are lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people's homes.They also celebrate one of the Diwali legends, which tells of the return of Rama and Sita to Rama's kingdom after 14 years of exile."
Moe added that in Britain as in India the festival is a time for spring cleaning the home, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts (often sweets and dried fruits) and preparing festive meals, decorating buildings with fancy lights and very often huge firework displays.
"In India Hindus will leave the windows and doors of their houses open so that Lakshmi can come in. Rangoli are drawn on the floors - rangoli are patterns and the most popular subject is the lotus flower," added Moe.
"The best thing about the Diwali festival is that people from all cultures and backgrounds can enjoy it. There is dancing, music , foods, sweets and children's workshops."
Moe said he hopes that next year the event can expand with a Divali fireworks display in the town.
The Diwali Festival takes place in Wimborne from 11.45am-4.30pm, with events in The Square at intervals from noon-3.45pm.