The NSW Government has added to the hundreds of millions of lights burning brightly around the world for Diwali by lighting the sails of the Sydney Opera House in gold.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure welcomed the lighting up of the sails to officially mark the start of Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains.
“By lighting up the sails of the Opera House, we are sharing in the rich colour, vibrancy and values of Diwali,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Tonight also symbolises our unity as a multicultural state, that no matter our cultural background, our faith or the language we speak, Diwali can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone in NSW.”
Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said celebrating events like Diwali is about celebrating NSW’s greatest assets, its people.
“Thanks to our rich diversity, we have the opportunity to join in celebrations right here at home that you would otherwise have to travel overseas to experience,” Mr Coure said.
“For generations, the contributions of our Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese and South East Asian communities have been woven into the social fabric of our state, and by celebrating their culture tonight we are also celebrating their contributions to making NSW a multicultural and multifaith success story.”
Multicultural NSW Advisory Board chair Nick Kaldas encouraged all residents to enjoy the festivities during Diwali. “Cultural festivals like Diwali give us all a window into the contributions that diverse communities make to the rich cultural mosaic of NSW,” Mr Kaldas said.
Diwali is held on the last day of the month of Kartika in the lunar calendar (falling between October and November). It is celebrated by lighting small oil lamps called diyas, which symbolise the lifting of spiritual darkness and the renewal of life, and is a time to pray for health, knowledge and peace.
Media: Clem Hall, Premier – 0499 818 662
Scott Hodder, Minister Coure – 0455 094 282