The iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House have turned gold to mark the most widely-celebrated Hindu festival Diwali.
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka tonight hosted a community reception at the Museum of Contemporary Art to celebrate the occasion.
“The lighting of the sails of the Sydney Opera House is a truly spectacular sight – and a sign to the world of the NSW Government’s respect and appreciation for Diwali,” Mr Baird said.
“Diwali is embraced by Hindu and non-Hindu communities across NSW and Australia and this will be the third time the Opera House lights up in celebration of the Festival of Lights.
“The NSW Government has honoured this festival for many years and the lighting of the Opera House sails reflects the lighting of the ceremonial lamps during Diwali,” he said.
Diwali is an important time for many communities from India and South Asia with the lighting of diyas, ceremonial lamps, symbolising lifting of spiritual darkness and new beginnings.
This is the first year the Sydney Opera House lighting and the community reception – usually held at NSW Parliament – are held on the same night.
“There are more than 200,0000 people with Indian and South Asian heritage in New South Wales,” Mr Ajaka said.
“Deepavali is one of the most celebrated festivals in our state, and is a testament to our rich cultural and religious diversity.”
The sails of the Sydney Opera House lit up for Diwali for one night only on Friday 21 October with the support of the NSW Government.