BARNSLEY’S Diwali lights switch-on attracted the biggest turnout of people since the event began when it took place for its 17th year.

Last Friday’s ceremony - often referred to as the festival of light - was performed by Labour MP for Barnsley East Stephanie Peacock and Barnsley Council community cohesion champion Kevin Williams.

The event was organised by the Gujarat Association of Barnsley and the Indian Welfare Association of Barnsley.

Harshad Patel, who is a member of both associations, said: “I can say that this year was the biggest turnout ever of approximately 200 people, in spite of the inclement weather.

“Barnsley is still one of few towns and cities in UK that has this switching on of the Diwali lights.

In Text Promo Image

“It is an achievement within itself for Barnsley as the only town in South Yorkshire to be carrying this tradition on each year.”

Stephanie Peacock said: “It was honour to switch on the Diwali lights in Barnsley, and to take part in the traditional coconut ceremony.

“Thank you to the Gujarat Association of Barnsley and Indian Welfare Association for their organisation and hospitality.

“I’d like to wish all those celebrating a happy and peaceful Diwali.”

One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual ‘victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance’.