Families gather to celebrate Hindu New Year

  • In Business
  • 2022-10-27 07:59:39Z
  • By BBC
Hindu New Year falls a day after Diwali
Hindu New Year falls a day after Diwali  

Hindu New Year celebrations have been held across the West Midlands.

The day falls after Diwali and at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Coventry, a mountain of food was laid out as an offering before prayers on Wednesday.

The sweets and other dishes, prepared by the community, were then be shared among families.

Celebrations also mark 100 years since the birth of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the temple's founder.

Feast and shrine at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Coventry
Feast and shrine at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Coventry  

"It signifies new life, love and joy. According to the Hindu calendar it is a new start for millions of people round the world, " Hindu priest Jatin Vyas, who is based in India, told BBC CWR.

The most important part of the day sees worshippers gather to sing scriptures. The ceremony offers people the chance to worship and reflect.

It is then followed by aarti, a prayer involving light.

Worshippers at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Coventry
Worshippers at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Coventry  

At the site in Heath Road, devotees worked through the night to create more than 200 fresh sweet and savoury items.

"We offer it to God as a way of our devotion to him," said Pankash, a volunteer.

Nitin Ladva
Nitin Ladva  

For those worried about the cost of providing food to be included in the feast, the temple stepped in to help.

Nitin Ladva, the temple's organiser, said: "We help and support families as best as we can.

"The price of goods has gone up so we offer the ingredients for them to produce the items they want to."

Wife and husband Reena and Sanil Chohan
Wife and husband Reena and Sanil Chohan  

Reena Chohan said: "It is a lot of fun making the food items and brings us together as a family."

Her husband Sanil added: "It has been nice having the community chip in and come together to make these dishes."

An exhibition has also been set up in the temple to mark the centennial celebrations for Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who founded the BAPS Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism.

He died in 2016, aged 95.

Exhibition at the temple
Exhibition at the temple  

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