Diwali is the festival of lights celebrated every year spiritually signifying the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Due to Rotary's diverse membership and close association with the community, many Rotary clubs hold or support these celebrations and this year Porirua Rotary has held their first Diwali event.
This was a chance for all in the community to celebrate the cultural festival of food, colour, dance, music and lights.  Stalls included costume jewellery, hair and beauty makeover, people could get their hands decorated with henna which is an ancient Indian paint form popular during weddings and Diwali, buy sweet delicacies, Indian designer clothes and scarves, and of course, delicious food. 
Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said “the festival was a reflection of the rich cultural diversity of our city. Porirua is a multi-cultural city that values and celebrates diversity. It’s who we are and it’s a big part of what makes us special. We’re excited to be involved with the Diwali festival where our communities can join together and celebrate one another’s cultures”.
The festival brought the different cultural communities together in celebrating the rich culture of dance, music, food and light.  The festival featured dance performances from many cultural groups including a variety of Indian and Hindi dance groups but also kapa haka, Irish dance and a group from Kiribati.
“There are students and young families in our communities who may have moved to Porirua City and the region who may not have their families to celebrate such an important festival with.  This event created an opportunity for them to make memories and enjoy the celebration with their communities.” said Rotary Porirua President Kath Beattie.
Porirua Rotary may be a small Club but they sure can pack a punch as this project proves.  The project very successfully achieved three things: it got Rotarians working together on an event which was not familiar to them; it integrated communities with an event, and it fundraised for key Rotary international project (Polio) and a local project whilst having fun!
Entry to the festival is a gold coin donation and these were used to provide support for Rotary International’s global Polio programme and support the local community free school bus for low-decile schools in Porirua that also ferries children to swimming lessons and educational trips they might otherwise have missed for lack of transport