Sep 282008

Northampton, UK… Northampton will host two important Hindu events during the month of October. The first, on 19 October 2008, will be the long awaited Bhoomi Pujan or “blessing” of the land. The second will be the colourful Hindu festival of Diwali, which will be held on 25 October 2008. Both events are open to everyone to attend and will give an exciting and colourful insight into Indian culture and tradition.

In July 2008, the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation (IHWO) was granted ownership rights to 4.3 acres of land on Lings Way, Lumbertubs Ward in Northampton by the Northampton Borough Council. The agreement will allow IHWO to build and operate a landmark £12 million state-of-the-arts sports, education and leisure centre as well as a Hindu temple. Open to everyone, this centre will be known as the Northampton Kutumbh (or “wider family”) Centre.

The Bhoomi Pujan ceremony, the first of its kind in Northampton, will involve a number of ancient Hindu rituals, which will aim to inaugurate or “bless” the site on which the centre will be built. Thousands of people from all over the UK are expected to attend and it is hoped that the event will raise £100,000 to help prepare the planning application for build consent. The event will be held on the Lings Way site (next to the Wildlife Trust), starting at 9am and finishing at 3.00pm.

25 October will witness IHWO’s popular Diwali Lights Celebration, which will be held between 1pm and 8.30pm in the Market Square and Fish Market Galleries in Northampton town centre. The event will start in Market Square at 1pm with a range of traditional Indian workshops, including Henna tattooing, “Rangoli” art competition, “how to wear a Sari” demonstration and various traditional music and dance performances. At 6pm a colourful Diwali Lantern procession will leave the Fish Market Galleries and snake its way through the town centre. The event will end in the Market Square with a countdown to “switching on” the Diwali lights, followed by an Indian “bhangra” music party. IHWO has also secured the services of the famous carnival arts company – Festive Road, which will be working with the Delapre Primary School and the Northampton Academy Gujarati School in developing festive lanterns for the procession

“I promise you that both of these events will be full of colour, energy and traditional Indian festivity. On behalf of the Hindu community in Northampton I welcome everyone to attend and take part in what will be two memorable events,” said Neelam Aggarwal, Chairperson, IHWO.

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