The Prince of Wales has recorded a message for Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights.
Prince Charles shared his message of good wishes on the Clarence House social media accounts, saying:
“The Festival of Lights is, I know, a special time for families and friends to come together, to share gifts and sweets, and to enjoy each others’ company. Very sadly this year, the ongoing public health crisis means that this will simply not be possible for so many of you, and I can so well imagine just how difficult and disappointing this must be.
“Amid these strange and difficult circumstances, however, I do hope that you might still draw strength and confidence from the message of Diwali – that, ultimately, good will triumph over evil, hope over despair and light over darkness.
“Let me wish you and happy, peaceful and prosperous year ahead. Shubh Diwali.”
Prince Charles has celebrated Diwali in the past, notably in 2007 by visiting the Shri Swaminarayan temple with Camilla and taking part in a Laxmi Puja ceremony. The couple attended a service at the central shrine, met with temple members and lit diyas.
At the time, Prince Charles said, “The glorious architecture of the Mandir, as ever, is a joy to behold and, if I may say so, the warmth of your welcome has been overwhelming, but it always has been on the other occasions I have been lucky enough to come here; (And that’s the reason I keep coming back again!). But to join the Hindu community on the tremendously auspicious occasion of Diwali, and to celebrate with you this most wonderful ‘festival of lights’, is indeed a great privilege for both of us.”
Diwali is a five-day celebration that has been marked for centuries by the Indian population. Its third day is often the most celebrated as it coincides with the darkest night of the lunar month.
As a Festival of Lights, those who celebrate Diwali do so by lighting fireworks, marching in parades, hosting fairs, and reflecting on the year and giving thanks through prayer and services.