The festival of Holi was traditionally celebrated at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden on Tuesday 10 March 2009. The sacred images in the Mandir were adorned with beautiful coloured clothing. Devotees from all over London and the UK braved the damp weather to enthusiastically offer their prayers on this most auspicious day.
At 6.00pm on the grounds adjacent to The Swaminarayan School, the festival of Holi began with the chanting of Vedic prayers. Devotees performed poojan of Thakorji and Lord Vishnu and then proceeded to offer their respects at the large fire. Sanctified coconuts, popcorn and dates were given to the devotees as prasad. Visitors expressed their gratitude that they were able to bring their children on this auspicious day to witness and participate in the traditional way of celebrating Holi and many were very pleased at the way that the arrangements for the festival were made.
In the Haveli on Wednesday 11 March 2009, the festival was marked with an assembly in which sadhus talked on the significance of Holi and also on the virtues of service and devotion as seen in the life of Brahmaswarup Bhagatji Maharaj – whose birth anniversary also fell on the same day.
Prior to these celebrations, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visited The Swaminarayan School, London, on the afternoon of Wednesday 4 March 2009 to celebrate the festival of Holi. More information about this event can be found here.