“Today, our friends and neighbours of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist descent all across Ontario celebrate Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas—the Festival of Lights and the Day of Liberation.
“This joyous celebration hails the victory of light over darkness and hope over despair—symbolized in beautiful firework displays and the lighting of diyas on rooftops and in homes across Ontario and around the globe. This jubilant time of year is marked by gift-giving, special prayers, and festive meals which bring family and friends closer together.
“In the Sikh tradition, Bandi Chhor Divas celebrates the victory of light over darkness in the remarkable story of Guru Hargobind Ji and his release from unjust imprisonment.
“From Sri Lanka and Singapore, to India, the Caribbean and beyond, the nations and ethnic communities celebrating Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas are nearly as diverse as Ontario itself—a diversity that is a hallmark of our special province.
“Ontario’s vibrant South Asian community continues to be an vital part of our province’s social and cultural fabric. Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas provide us all with the opportunity to learn more about South Asian culture and customs, and to reflect on the many ways this dynamic community helps make Ontario a better place to live.
“Happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas!”