Diwali is the annual Festival of Lights, celebrated by thousands of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains all
across the world. With festivities spanning over five days, this year’s celebrations will kick off on
November 10th and continue until November 15th!

Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, and the victory of light over darkness. It’s a time for
families to come together in celebration, providing an opportunity for gift-giving, festive feasts,
and to observe an array of vibrant fireworks and lights.

The first day of Diwali is known as Dhanteras. On this day, those who celebrate prepare for the
upcoming festivities; cleaning their houses, making small purchases of silver and gold, and
installing small oil lamps, known as diyas, into their temples and homes. Naraka Chaturdashi,
the second day of the festival, is a time for people to purchase festive foods and sweets, and
make their homes vibrant and colourful with decorations such as candles and lanterns.

The third day marks the height of Diwali. Known as Lakshmi Puja, this is the day that homes
and temples will come alive with lights. Lakshmi Puja is a time for families to come together. The
young visit their elders during the day, before the whole family comes together in the evening for
a night of festive feasts, fireworks, and prayers.

On the fourth day, Govardhan Puja, the bond between husband and wife is celebrated, with
husbands showering their wives with gifts as a token of their love. The fifth and final day, Bhai
Dooj, marks a celebration of brothers and sisters. Families pray for the health of their brothers
and the protection of their sisters, ultimately bringing the festivities to a close after five days of
light, love, prayers and celebration.

Where Can You Celebrate in Cardiff?
Whether you observe the festival every year, or just want to discover the traditions of another
culture, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Diwali in Cardiff this year! Here are some of our
top picks:
Diwali Mela, St Fagans Museum
On 4th of November 2023, St Fagans Museum will be joining forces with the Hindu Cultural
Association (Wales) India Centre to bring Diwali celebrations back to Cardiff for another year!
Running from 11am – 3pm, this event is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the Festival of Light
and get involved with some Diwali traditions, whether you’re a seasoned Diwali celebrator or a

Think delicious street food stalls, a plethora of dance performances, Indian yoga and Mehndi
body art, amongst a whole host of activities for all the family to get involved in. Better yet, entry
to this event is free, so nothing is stopping you from joining in on the fun!
To find out more about this event, visit: www.indiacentre.co.uk/events

Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Grangetown
Each year, Shree Swaminarayan Temple goes above and beyond to mark Diwali in the best way
possible, bringing their community together for a jam-packed week of celebrations. As the first and
largest Hindu temple in Wales, the three gold-topped spires that can be seen from afar are certainly
a talking point.
This year, Shree Swaminarayan Temple is hosting five events over the Diwali period. The temple’s
first event, taking place on Friday 10th of November, will mark Dhanteras. Following this, the
festivities will continue with further events taking place on 11th, 12th, 13th, and 15th of November.
Celebrating Diwali at Shree Swaminarayan Temple is the perfect way to engage in this cultural
celebration and immerse yourself in the festivities. The temple has even had some notable
attendees stop by during Diwali in previous years, including former Welsh First Minister Rhodri
To see the temple’s full itinerary of events, visit their Instagram @cardiffmandir

Diwali 2023: Gift Guide
During the five days of Diwali, it is tradition to give gifts to family and friends. Traditional gifts
include items made from gold, as well as homeware, jewellery, statues and sweets. Getting
involved with gift giving during the period of Diwali is another way to mark the occasion and get
involved with the celebrations! Here are some of the best places in and around Cardiff to
purchase your gifts this Diwali:

The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint offers some of the very best gifts to give to your loved ones this Diwali, with
keepsakes ranging from gold bars to historic coins.
The Royal Mint has developed a range of gold bars in collaboration with Nilesh Kabaria from
Cardiff’s Shree Swaminarayan Temple, making for the perfect and authentic gift to give this
Diwali. These minted bars feature Lakshmi, Ganesh and Om, and have been carefully crafted
with the finest gold, a symbol of luck and good fortune. The bars come wrapped in colourful
henna-style packaging, ensuring that every part of this gift is fit for celebration!

As well as their grand gold bars, The Royal Mint also stocks a range of historic coins. The
coinage of India features many notable figures and specimens, spanning back over a number of
centuries. From single silver pieces to golden sets, these coins help to bring the stories of our
nations to life whilst reminding us of our rich histories.
To discover more about what The Royal Mint has to offer, visit:

Image from The Royal Mint.

Pooja Sweets
Each Diwali, families come together and celebrate over grand feasts, eating many delicious
savoury delicacies such as paneer and chivda. However, when it comes to food, Diwali is best
known for sweets! Whether you’re treating loved ones or yourself, Pooja Sweets is your
one-stop-shop for the best sweet delicacies. Based on Albany Road in Cardiff, Pooja Sweets
offers the very best Indian sweets, made using pure butter ghee, milk products and khoya.
The treats on offer at Pooja Sweets range from traditional snacks – such as gulab and kala
jamun, to newer, innovative produce, such as their recently added eggless cakes. With an
option to purchase single sweets or mixed gift boxes, there is no better way to make your Diwali
celebrations sweet!
To find out more about Pooja Sweets’ produce, visit: www.poojasweets.com

Ganesha Handicrafts
Ganesha Handicrafts has been bringing a beautiful array of ethically sourced jewellery, clothing
and handicrafts, straight from India and Nepal, to the streets of Cardiff for many years now.
Jewellery is often seen as a symbol of hope, encouraging people to overcome despair during
Diwali. As such, it is tradition to give jewellery as a gift to loved ones during this period. At
Ganesha Handicrafts, you are spoiled for choice. With jewellery pendants sourced from all
around India and Asia, there is something on offer for everyone! Alongside their traditional
jewellery options, Ganesha Handicrafts also stocks a range of decor and accessories to
brighten up your home.
To discover all that Ganesha Handicrafts has to offer, visit: www.ganeshahandicrafts.com

Image from Ganesha Handcrafts.

A Diwali Family Feast

Image from @nishakatona

Diwali is a festival that is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach. With that in mind, we’ve got a recipe that’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser from chef and Mowgli Street Food founder, Nisha Katona. Nisha’s irresistible railway lamb curry, so named as it was once cooked by the chefs working on the Indian railways in the 1900’s, is packed full of flavour and is sure to get those popularity ratings up.

Railway lamb curry with pine nut rice
Serves: 4
For the curry:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 white onions, finely diced
25g piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 carrots, peeled and halved
4 white potatoes, peeled and quartered
700g diced lamb leg
2 tbsp garam masala
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1⁄2 tsp chilli powder
1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml water
1 1⁄2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 heaped tsp sugar
1 large green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
For the pine nut rice:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 tbsp pine nuts
300g white basmati rice
600ml cold water
To garnish:
Pomegranate seeds
Fresh ginger, sliced into fine batons
For the curry:

  1. Put the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat.
  2. When hot, add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook for 8 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the carrots and potatoes, turn up the heat and toss for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the lamb and brown it off.
  5. Add the garam masala, bay leaves, cumin powder, ground turmeric and chilli powder and fry
    for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar, and chilli. Give everything a good stir together,
    then turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer on a low heat for 50 minutes, or until the lamb
    is very tender and the vegetables turn soft.
    For the pine nut rice:
  7. In a small saucepan, add the oil and once hot, add the cumin seeds and fry until they turn
    dark brown. Next, add the pine nuts and toss for a few seconds until they get some colour and
    then throw in your rice and toss the grains in the oil. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the
  8. Simmer gently until the rice has nearly absorbed all the water. Put the lid on tightly, and
    switch off the heat. Leave for 10 minutes and the rice is done.
  9. Garnish the rice with pomegranate seeds and sliced ginger.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

    Don’t forget to tag us in your foodie creations: @cardifflife.wales

Author WCS

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