- DC Area
- Jersey Area
- Los Angeles
- New York
- SF Bay Area
- Earlier editions
- India News
- US News
For the first time in the history of the British parliament, Diwali will be celebrated in the House of Commons on October 31.
Over 100 British MPs and 200 community leaders will attend the Diwali reception, Ramesh Kallidai, one of the organisers, announced on Monday.
"The reception marks the first time a Hindu festival will be celebrated in the history of the British parliament," he said. "It is also the first time a record number of British MPs will attend a Hindu festival at any one time."
Tony Blair in a message to the organisers said: "I am proud to be the prime minister of a country of many cultures and many faiths. I strongly believe that Britain's diversity of backgrounds and experiences have brought tremendous strengths and benefits to our society. Festivals like Diwali play an important role in helping us to appreciate and celebrate this diversity."
Guests at the reception, which will feature costumed artists, traditional wick lamps, rangoli (paintings with coloured powders) and floral designs, Indian sculpture, sweets, music and prayers, include Education Secretary and former chairman of the Labour Party Charles Clarke, Deputy Leader of the Conservative party Michael
Ancram, leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy, MPs, peers, diplomats, community leaders and dignitaries.
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report