Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, is wishing everyone in Wolverhampton a Happy Diwali. This year Diwali falls on 11 November. Diwali is a key religious festival for Hindus and Sikhs. For Hindus, the festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The name Diwali literally means “row of lights” in Sanskirt. Diwali is known as the ‘festival of lights’ because, traditionally, houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called Diyas. These lamps, which are fuelled by mustard oil, are placed in rows in windows, doors and outside buildings to decorate them.

For Sikhs, Diwali marks the Bandi Chhor Divas, an important commemoration of the Sikh struggle for freedom from oppression. It celebrates the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, and 52 other princes with him, in 1619.

Speaking about Diwali, Emma said “I want to wish everyone in Wolverhampton a Happy Diwali, particularly those celebrating the festival on 11 November. Diwali is a festival that brings people of different faiths together. At its heart it is about the victory of good over evil. This is a great universal theme that can unite people from all different backgrounds.”