Diwali is the holiday marked on the calendar that many in the South Asian community look forward to each and every year. Originally a Hindu celebration, The purpose and meaning behind Diwali varies within different religions, however, one aspect of the day remains the same: it’s all about positivity.
Diwali is a five-day festival of lights. Dates for the event are based on the lunar calendar and vary from year to year. The third day of the festival, traditionally the main day of celebration takes place on October 24 this year. The name “Diwali” comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali meaning “row of lights”, and is often known as the festival of lights. Diwali is celebrated all over the world as the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty, and knowledge over ignorance. Moreover, Diwali celebrates the light that’s inside each and every one of us.
And like any holiday that’s close to our hearts, time with loved ones is one of the best parts, followed closely by the food! Celebrate Diwali at home by lighting lamps (diyas), creating Rangoli (the art of making colourful patterns on the floor using sand or rice), and by feasting!
Here are a few places and events around Surrey to celebrate Diwali this year.
Diwali Downtown Surrey
Head to Surrey City Hall for a family-friendly afternoon of unique musical and dance performances on October 16 at 2:00pm. Enjoy a cup of masala or ginger chai while checking out the colourful Rangoli displays, and paint your own Diya, a small type of lamp lit on Diwali, to take home.
Presented by Fraser Valley Desis the Diwali Gala is a majestic celebration of grand Bollywood songs and dance performances. All ages are welcome to this “most-happening” Diwali night featuring food, dance, music, fireworks, fashion and more at the Kanna Banquet Hall on October 21.
Diwali Ladies-Only Dance Party
Dance the night away at one of the biggest ladies-only Diwali celebrations in Surrey at the Empire Banquet Hall on October 23! Music and DJ, plus performances by local musicians, Balvir Boparai, Dolisha and Sukh Ghuman.
Mega Diwali Show
All are invited to celebrate Diwali at the Mega Diwali Show hosted by V4U Entertainment and the Gujarati Society of BC. Join this sparkling event and enjoy a unique lights show, traditional Diwali activities, cultural entertainment and a sumptuous feast of traditional Indian cuisine. Funds raised will support the work of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. This event will be held at the Mirage Banquet Hall on October 29.
Some of Surrey’s restaurants have special Diwali menus available:
Spice 72 Restaurant is offering lunch specials for dine-in customers. Menu choices include Biryani, Mango Goalgappe, Kebabs, Roti Rolls and Channa Bhatura.
Celebrate the festival of lights with illuminating set menu thalis, both vegetarian & non-vegetarian at Clove the Art of Dining.
If you want to celebrate Diwali at home, here are some suggestions for where to find Diwali ingredients and supplies:
World of Graze – Order a stunning grazing board or individual grazing boxes. Available in a variety of sizes (depending on how many people you want to serve), the grazing boxes are packed with local meats and cheese, condiments, crudité, and seasonal snacks.
Tokyo Mithaiwala – Choose from Tokyo Mithaiwala’s celebration collection featuring beautiful handcrafted artisanal mithai (sweets).
Indo Fiji Supermarket – Shop for an amazing selection of Indian spices and ingredients, and pick up decorative coloured river sand for making Rangoli patterns.
Big Bazaar – A local neighbourhood go-to place for everything from spices to fresh local and ethnic produce to household goods. So many items are packed into this local shop for you to discover and explore!
Surrey Super Market – A palace of Indian dry goods and produce. Visit the bulk section for a myriad of spices and don’t miss the tea aisle.
Feature photo courtesy of World of Graze.