Abbotsford’s Diwali activities for 2007 add a focus on healthy living and cancer prevention to its annual celebration of light.
The Canadian Cancer Society, In Motion and the City of Abbotsford host the first Diwali Sehat Mela (Diwali Health Fair) today at the Ag-Rec Building at Exhibition Park.
“Diwali is an important celebration for our community as is the health and well-being of our residents,” said Abbotsford Mayor George Ferguson.
“This event is a perfect opportunity for young and old to refocus a personal commitment to healthier living.”
Diwali is a South Asian festival celebrated around the world for many reasons, including overcoming evil and celebrating new beginnings.
The literal translation of Diwali is a “row of lights,” and most celebrations involve the symbolic meaning of light to humanity.
“We are really looking forward to the luminary ceremony that will be taking place during the event,” said Natasha Raey, health promotions co-ordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“The lit candles will not only celebrate Diwali, but will also represent hope for a healthier future.”
Abbotsford’s festivities include traditional bhangra dance performances, short plays about Diwali and health, yoga demonstrations and a luminary celebration.
There are door prizes and giveaways, as well as interactive exhibit booths featuring activities for children, food samples, mehndi skin art and opportunities to measure your blood pressure.
Information is also provided on cancer prevention through exercise and proper nutrition.
The Diwali Health Fair runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. Proceeds from the sales of luminary bags go to the Canadian Cancer Society to fund information services and research.