TEMPLES in Brent are to welcome a special guest this afternoon to mark Diwali.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is to attend celebrations at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, the first traditional Hindu temple to open in Europe, and Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir in Wembley, at the start of the Hindu New Year.
The Mayor, who also backed the recent 10th anniversary celebrations of Diwali in Trafalgar Square, is due to meet with senior figures as well as volunteers at each of the mandirs, which will be filled with thousands of visitors throughout the day.
Mr Johnson said: "As Londoners and people around the world mark Diwali and the start of the Hindu New Year I am delighted to take part in celebrations at these two important mandirs. Diwali is about new beginnings and a commitment to family values and has lessons we can all appreciate, representing joy, love, reflection, resolution, forgiveness, light and knowledge. But these magnificent temples also illustrate the value of community and in particular volunteering, which are at the heart of Team London, my own action plan for volunteering – something I hope some of those attending the mandirs will want to get involved in. To Hindus in London and everywhere a happy Diwali – have a prosperous and happy New Year."