Mr Baird said the sails will light up on the evening of Tuesday 21 October during an event attended by Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello, and Multicultural NSW Chair and prominent member of the Indian community, Dr Hari Harinath.
“This will be the first time the Opera House has been lit up in celebration of Deepavali, the festival of light celebrated by the global Hindu community,” Mr Baird said.
“Deepavali is celebrated across the world. This special event will be held for the Hindu community of NSW, which makes a valuable contribution to our multicultural society.
“This festival has been embraced by Australians of all backgrounds and is one of many cultural and religious celebrations that take place every year across NSW.
“The sails of the Opera House will light up when Mr Dominello and Dr Harinath join me in lighting a diya, a ceremonial lamp in Hindu culture that signifies the lifting of spiritual darkness and the renewal of life.
“To see Sydney’s world famous icon awash in colour is an incredible sight and I would encourage everyone to head to the Sydney Harbour foreshore to witness this event.”
Mr Dominello said the State’s South Asian community was made up of over 200,000 people who now call Australia home.
“Deepavali has been celebrated for centuries across the Indian subcontinent and NSW is today proudly home to many thousands of people from across its diaspora.
“People from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka as well as South East Asia have brought with them the rich tradition of Deepavali and we appreciate the positive contributions they’ve made to our multicultural society,” he said.
The Sydney Opera House will be lit up just after 8pm for one night only until midnight on Tuesday 21 October with the support of the NSW Government.
NSW Parliament House will light up simultaneously and will remain lit each night until Wednesday 5 November in support of the Deepavali festival.