FAMILIES are invited to a spectacular celebration of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, at Durham University’s Oriental Museum this October half-term.

Visitors will enjoy crafts, traditional prayers to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, a shadow puppet performance of stories from the Sanskrit epic the Ramayana and delicious Indian food.

The museum will be decorated in spectacular style and the first 100 children to arrive for the celebrations will receive a free garland.

Members of the local Indian community are working with the museum on the event.

Deepthi Penukonda, one of the local residents involved, said: “The Lakshmi puja ceremony – traditional prayers – is at the heart of every Diwali and it helps the community to feel at home in the Museum.”

Charlotte Spink, Access and Community Engagement Officer at the Oriental Museum, said: “This year’s Diwali celebrations are going to be wonderful. We’re grateful for the support of members of the local Indian community and we’re looking forward to welcoming many friends, old and new, for the celebrations.”

The event takes place on Saturday October 26, from 6pm to 8pm. Tickets must be booked in advance via: https://theorientamuseum.eventbrite.co.uk

Tickets are priced £2 to see the puppet show, enjoy the craft activities, prayers and storytelling, or £7 for all of the above plus some delicious food created by a local Indian chef.

For more information visit: www.durham.ac.uk/oriental.museum.