Thursday evening saw the Festival of Light 2011 celebrated by the Oldham Interfaith Forum.
The event is staged each annually by the forum and incorporates elements of all the religious festivals occurring around this time of year. The introduction describes it as a celebration of the triumph of light over dark for all faiths and those with none.
This year the event was held at the Anchor Mill and with an audience of 650 people with ages ranging from 7 years to 81 years old. A record number of 300 assessment questionnaires were filled out (highly positive) and returned to the organisers.
The meanings of the various festivals including Dewali, Eid-Al-Adh’a Channukah and Christmas were illustrated with reading, music and dance.
The perfomances were; a Tabla duet by Chetan Vekria & Sanjay Kerei, Nasheed by Anam Waheerof the Khadi Education Centre, Choral by Oldham African Caribbean Gospel Choir, Dance by Swami Naryan Temple Dance Group and Nasheed by Hafiz Mizanur Rahman.
Readings, and illustration of the historical and traditional meanings of the festivals were given by; Krishna Sidosa, Mufti Helal Mahmood, Abdullah Nozrul Islam, Rabbi Daniel Walker, Phil Rawlings and Johnathan Shaw
In the vote of thanks Oldham M.P. Michael Meacher praised the event as a demonstration of the richness, diversity and solidarity of the communities and people of Oldham.