Milton. This small city West of Mississauga is the latest to approve diwali fireworks as its Council unanimously voted to amend a Town fireworks bylaw, granting the fall celebration equal status with Victoria Day and Canada Day.
The five-day festival, scheduled for October 23 this year, is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and other South Asian religions.
Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali holds spiritual significance in the lighting of lamps, candles and fireworks.
Niraj Thakkar of non-profit group Halton Gujarati Samaj told council “without the fireworks, Diwali is not complete.”
“It’s all about lighting up the dark night to signify the arrival of light in place of darkness,” he said. “Burning lights and lamps not only signifies the act of searching for light in darkness, but also to attaining knowledge in the midst of ignorance and love in the place of hatred.”
Under the previous bylaw a $47 permit was required for those wanting to discharge family fireworks. That fee is waived for Victoria Day, Canada Day, and now Diwali.
The by-law will stipulate that Diwali celebrant still have to go through a permit process and clear safety concerns. The current bylaw for family discharge of fireworks requires a clear area such as a backyard with a lot size of 30 metres by 30 metres.
Milton joins Toronto, Brampton and Guelph, which all have amended bylaws allowing for the sale and discharge of firework during Diwali.
Niraj Thakkar says that the Halton Gujarati Samaj members worked tirelessly to approve above amendment of bylaw by constantly calling each councilor and flooding the town hall on the day voting for amendment was to happen.