It is that time of the year when Durban comes together to celebrate Diwali – the Festival of Lights – at the Durban Diwali Festival. The South African Hindu Maha Sabha is excited to host the 21st DDF partnering again with the eThekwini Municipality and Standard Bank. The Festival will be hosted on 18, 19 and 20 October 2019 at the Old-Durban Drive-In.

The DDF has grown beyond just song and dance, with weekend festivities centred on community upliftment and spiritual and cultural awareness. The SAHMS is also hosting a Diwali Festival in Cape Town. This year’s theme is “Divinity in Allwhich is fitting for this celebration of light which draws people from all walks of life, races, religions and cultures.

The DDF will kick off on Friday, 18 October at 2pm with cultural entertainment and a shopping fair. On Friday at 7pm, CMH Nissan Durban will host an exciting cultural programme on the main stage. The programme will includes music and dance performances with hits from both Kollywood and Bollywood. For the local chutney lovers, Nagara Touch will perform at 7pm.

On Saturday morning, 19 October, our colourful Floats Procession, will line the streets of the Durban CBD, proceeding through to the Old Durban Driven-In. There are 30 floats participating in this year’s event and the public is invited to be a part of the parade. On the culmination of the Float Parade, there will then be a prayer at the on-site mandir. From 12pm-2pm, there will be a Youth Programme hosted by the SAHMS Youth Forum featuring bhajans, dances and the Float Procession prize giving ceremony. Thereafter, a cultural programme will follow on the main stage. We will host the legendary Saraswathi Shenaaz to perform filmy hits from 4pm to 6pm. The Opening Ceremony will take place at 7pm followed by the magnificent fireworks display at 8pm. Lotus FM will host a bhangra at 8pm so that you can dance the night away.

For those more religiously inclined, the on-site temple will give you the opportunity to offer a lamp for the month of Karthik and enjoy satsanghs throughout the weekend. Recitals of the Sundarkand will take place on Saturday from 3pm to 5pm.

The Hawan Ceremony on Sunday, 20 October at 10am will unite the Hindu community in prayer, featuring 108 hawan kunds and priests from all Hindu linguistic groups. We welcome everyone to participate. All hawan provisions are provided, free of charge. At 11h30, the Andra Maha Sabha of South Africa will host a Shri Raam Bhajan, an exciting and spiritually uplifting musical experience that should not be missed.

Late night shopping and an exciting entertainment line-up are guaranteed to entertain the entire family. The DDF will feature the best local music and dance South Africa has to offer. The evergreen, Mrs Asha Maharaj, will be presenting food demonstrations throughout the weekend featuring Diwali treats. There is no reason to cook for the weekend as there will be an on-site restaurant and a food court featuring Indian street food and fast food. Hindvani and Lotus FM will be broadcasting live from the DDF Site. We will also have the much-loved fun-fair for the young at heart.

Festival goers can look forward to fantastic giveaways like a return trip to India for 2 (includes airport taxes and accommodation) proudly sponsored by Serendipity Travel and Tours.

For more information on the DDF, contact the SAHMS’ office on 031 309 1951 or Neeran Besesar on 082 788 5767. You can also check out our website www.sahms.org.za or our Facebook page “Durban Diwali Festival” for regular updates.

Entrance and secure parking is free so you have no excuse not to be there!

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