Thousands gathered to celebrate a religious festival with some sparkle.

Bhaktivedanta Manor in Aldenham welcomed visitors from across the country to celebrat e the Hindu festival Diwali over the weejend.

Among visitors were Watford MP Richard Harrington, Conservative peer Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Deputy Mayor of Hertsmere Brenda Batten.

Music and inspirational speeches were given on a big stage, volunteers were on hand to explain the importance of the celebration while pilgrims prayed in the temple and vegetarian food was provided to feed hungry guests.

This the temple’s second biggest religious celebration which tells the story of good triumphing over evil, and light over darkness as told in the ancient Vedic scriptures the Ramayana.

Temple spokesman Radha Mohan Das said: “We felt a vibrant and happy atmosphere at the festival and despite the wind the weather held out for us.

“There was a sea of happy faces and excited children at the temple to celebrate Diwali with us.

Bhaktivedanta Manor has a unique ability to mix spirituality with culture and entertainment and that is why our festivals are so successful.”