Dear Teacher/ Trip organizer,
The ‘Diwali Celebrations – A Festival of Lights, Sound, Colour & Food’
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Please accept our warm invitation to the students and educators of your school for an educational trip to discover, experience and enjoy Hinduism’s grandest annual festival, “Diwali Celebrations” as follows:
Date: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Time range: 10am – 6pm.
Venue: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
61 Claireville Drive, Toronto (Hwy 427 & Finch Ave W).
Trip Agenda (preliminary) - duration 1 hour minimum (upto 2 hours depending on your options)
1) Walk thru exhibition*: Here students will be informed about the Diwali Festival and learn about Hinduism. Student work sheets will be provided along with the answer key for teachers.
2) Haveli Tour: Students will walk through a courtyard reminiscent of a 17th Century Indian palace which is hand-carved out of Burmese Teak wood.
3) Mandir Tour: Students will be “transported” back 10,000 years on a journey of discovery to experience the vastness of Indian art and architecture
4) Annakut Darshan: Students will be able to see a variety of vegetarian dishes offered to God and intricately displayed by hundreds of volunteers; examples of sheer devotion and thanksgiving.
5) Abhishek* (optional- add another 20mins): By participating in the ‘Abhishek’ ritual with true devotion and faith, it is believed that one’s personal prayers and inner wishes are fulfilled whether they be for oneself or for loved ones, good health, happiness, prosperity, peace, spiritual blessing or success in life.
Heritage Museum (optional – add another 30-45mins) – Based on the theme of Unity in Diversity,
students will get a first hand educational
experience as they learn about India, it’s people, festivals, values and the lasting legacy of ancient Indian
civilizations on the modern world.
*Some of the events are subject to change. However you will be informed in advance if there are any major changes.
The Next Step
Complete the booking form and either e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org with subject ‘Diwali 2012 Tour’) or fax it on 416-798-4498 by November 5th, 2012.
Except for a
nominal fee for the
As this is also a festival of sharing and caring, please encourage your students to bring non-perishable vegetarian items to donate to the BAPS Charities Food Bank.
The Festival of Inspiration Team
About Diwali (Festival of Lights, Sound, Colour & Food)
Diwali, is one of the most important occasions for all Hindus. The Diwali festival incorporates a joyful series of 8 utsavs (festivities). The 5th in the series is Deepawali commonly know as Diwali. This is the last day of the Hindu calendar year, the eve of the Hindu New Year - Vikram Samvat.
The Diwali festival is also a time of offering thanks in the form of Annakut, a large variety of vegetarian delicacies offered to God in return for blessings and a prosperous harvest. This, marks the 6th utsav in the series know as Nutan Varsh (New Year).
At the Mandir, students will have a unique
opportunity to witness the Annakut offering consisting of over a thousand vegetarian
dishes decoratively displayed in front of the sacred Images, making this one of
the largest Annakut celebrations in