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By Bonny Burrows

India’s stunning Festival of Lights is coming to Pakenham.
Diwali, or Deepavali as it is otherwise known, is a five-day festival celebrated each autumn in the Northern Hemisphere to mark the Hindi New Year.
Locally, the celebration will be marked on 21 October with a family fun day concluded by a spectacular fireworks display.
Event organiser Aanchal Meshram said despite the festival being a traditionally Indian celebration, the Pakenham festival was open to all.
“Diwali in India is like Christmas here. Families and friends get together and celebrate the victory of good over evil. There is lot of food, colour, sweets, lights and fireworks,” Ms Meshram said.
“It’s basically showcasing Indian tradition to the locals. We invite everyone from every background to join in celebrations, to celebrate multiculturalism.
“There’s free entry and then people can enjoy children’s rides, food stalls – not just Indian, Indian goods, and live music.”
Ms Meshram said it was a big deal to this year run the festival with the fireworks display.
Fireworks were an important aspect of the event, she said.
“It’s a very big thing, our culture has celebrated it on a smaller scale in Cardinia and Casey but this is the first time it will be on this scale with fireworks,” Ms Meshram said.
The festival will be held on 21 October at PB Ronald Reserve, Pakenham from 6pm to 9pm.
The fireworks display is scheduled for between 8.30pm and 9.30pm and residents are asked to make sure their pets are safe and secure during that time.
Contact Aanchal on 0430 046 507 for more details.

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