Diwali fireworks approved for Nov. 11 celebration in Cambridge, Ont.

The sky in Cambridge will light up on November 11 for Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, because city council has approved the use of fireworks during the celebration.

Holiday coincides with Remembrance Day in 2015

Fireworks will be permitted in Cambridge, Ont. during Diwali celebrations, after city council changed bylaws on Oct. 6, 2015. (The Canadian Press)

The sky in Cambridge will get a lot brighter November 11 during Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights.

That's because Cambridge grocery store owner Sarpreet Singh asked city council to consider allowing fireworks during the Hindu festival every year, just like they're allowed during Victoria Day and Canada Day. Council unanimously approved the request on Tuesday night.

"Before it was on an individual request, and now we're changing our bylaw to make it so that it doesn't have to be where a family or an organization asks yearly," said Cambridge Ward 5 Councillor Pam Wolf, in an interview with The Morning Edition's Craig Norris on CBC Radio 1 on Wednesday.  

Singh says Diwali is a holy day across India, and that fireworks are an important part of the celebrations.

"Every home has the lights, everybody puts the candles all over the house to give a shine to their home," he said. "We play with fireworks, every home."

Diwali takes place on November 11 this year , the same day as Remembrance Day. Wolf said that some people did raise concerns about the overlap.

"What we stressed is that we are very respectful of Remembrance Day," said Wolf. "We take it very seriously. But the ceremonies for Remembrance day are at 11 o'clock in the morning and sometimes extend to noon and we don't think this will be a conflict. We're also going to contact the Legions to make sure they're aware this will happen."

In 2016, Diwali falls on October 30 and in 2017 it will fall on October 19.

Waterloo, Brampton, Milton and Guelph already allow fireworks during Diwali.

Kitchener allows fireworks only on Victoria Day and Canada Day as well as the day immediately before and immediately after those two holidays. 


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