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Diwali celebrations bring all faiths together in Kochi

Kochi (Kerala), Nov. 11 : Setting an example of communal harmony, a Christian body in Kochi organised an event to celebrate Diwali yesterday.

The event was organised by Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) at their Pastoral Orientation Centre near Kochi. In attendance were heads of all prominent faiths of India including Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism.

The programme sought to promote communal harmony in a country as diverse as India at a time when incidents of religious intolerance are on the rise.

Local residents too participated in the event and young children made the most of the programme as they lit earthern lamps and burst crackers together.

On the occasion, Father Roby Kanachira said that Diwali was a festival of India and not any particular faith.

“We were organizing this programme just to partake with or join hands with the Indian community where we have this concept that it’s a cultural celebration. It’s not a celebration of a particular group or any religion, Diwali is the cultural festival of India,” said Father Kanachira.

Diwali is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety all over India as it marks the return of Hindu god Lord Rama to Ayodhya in northern India after he defeated Ravana, the powerful demon king of Lanka.

Legend says millions of lamps were lit when Lord Rama returned after 14 years of exile in forests and after defeating Ravana.

Diwali is also celebrated in honour of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that Lakshmi showers her blessings upon those homes that are clean and well lit. (ANI)