Devotees offer food to gods and light candles in celebration of Diwali in Preston

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Hindu devotees lit candles and offered food to the gods in an expression of worship for Diwali.

More than 500 people spilled through the doors at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Ribble Bank Street, Preston, as they came to pay their respects yesterday.

Youngsters taking part in Diwali

Youngsters taking part in Diwali

The celebrations also marked the first day of the Hindu New Year which is now 2076.

Temple volunteer Kailash Parekh said: “We got the Mayor of Preston David Borrow to say a few words.

“Then we showed a video about Diwali and Hinduism explaining what it’s about.

“We then had the lighting of the lamps ceremony.

“As part of the devotions we had 350 dishes with a variety of sweet and savoury food which we offered to the gods while we sang hymns.

“We give presents and eat sweets. It’s about making life sweet, that’s the sentiment.

“It’s like Christmas, it’s the festival of light.”