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Berlin Festival of Lights – Diwali Away From Home

October 08th, 2014

News from Berlin - The Berlin Light Art Festival takes place this year from the 10th to the 19th of October. With the first ever event held in 2004, the Berlin Festival of Lights is a one-week event that occurs annually in October. During the festival well-known sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Reichstag building, Berlin TV Tower and the Berlin Victory Column are lit up with scenes of illumination and art. With national as well as international artists transforming the city into a stage with light installations, every October Berlin becomes home to one of the best known light art festivals in the world with over two million festival visitors every year. The origins of that event are related to Indian "Diwali".

The Indian event of the year “Diwali” is also known as the “Festival of Lights”, this event has major religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains living in India and for Indians living abroad. With a large population of over 30 million Indians living outside of India, the annual light festival provides the Indian population living in Berlin with an alternative, symbolic opportunity of celebrating their own religious celebration in a public, modern way. There is no direct evidence that the Festival of Lights celebrated annually in Berlin has any link to the Indian religious celebration, however the coinciding dates suggest a correlation and regardless provides ample opportunity to publicly celebrate and share the admiration for lights.

Traditionally the “Diwali” festival is celebrated with prayer, dance and decorations. Indian families gather and eat lots of foods and sweets; Visit Temples, light oil lamps and hang colorful lanterns and lights while enjoying firework displays or blasting firecrackers. The acceptance and celebration of international festivals and religious events such as “Diwali” is important to enrich the cultural diversity of whole nations and with electric blue lights on the TV tower and the shimmering gold Unter de Linden pavement, whether you come from India or Africa this is a must-see light exhibition.

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