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Diwali lights up Sydney Opera House

The sails of Sydney's iconic Opera House lit up this month for Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light.

This is the second year the Sydney Opera House has been illuminated to mark the occasion.

Distinguished members of the NSW Indian community joined the NSW Premier and Minister for Multiculturalism on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art to view the spectacle.

The national landmark radiated a warm orange glow, signifying the colour of the flame of the traditional Diwali diya lamp.

The lighting of lamps during Diwali signifies the banishing of the darkness caused by ignorance, racism, violence, greed and fear.

Traditionally falling on the darkest new moon night in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika, Hindu families mark Diwali by putting on their best clothes, exchanging gifts and lighting up diyas (lamps) inside and outside their homes. 

From its origins as a Hindu festival, Diwali has now spread throughout the world and is widely celebrated by people of Indian ancestry as a festival of life, hope and new beginnings. The night of Diwali is also significant for Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists. 

For many people, Diwali celebrates the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom from exile after defeating the demon King Ravanna.

It also pays tribute to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, when we light lanterns to guide her into our homes. Its central message of the triumph of good over evil is one that resonates with many cultures.

According to the 2016 Census, there are now 455,389 Indian-born people living in Australia – that represents nearly two per cent of the country’s population. Of all religions, Hinduism had the most significant growth between 2006 and 2016, rising from 0.7% to 1.9% of the population, driven by immigration from South Asia.

View photos from the night by clicking the image below:

Diwali 2017

 

The Point

The illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails signifies that Diwali has well and truly become a festival that is enjoyed by Australians of all backgrounds.

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