Royal Navy: HMS Dragon to be spectacularly lit up for Diwali while on deployment with HMS Queen Elizabeth

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A Royal Navy destroyer will be spectacularly lit up for Diwali as she prowls off the east coast of the United States.

HMS Dragon will be bathed in red, blue, orange and green lighting to celebrate the Festival of Lights as the sun goes down on Sunday evening, while on deployment with HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The ship's engineers attached filters to spotlights which are normally used to bathe the 152-metre-long ship in bright light when she makes ceremonial visits to ports, such as her affiliated city of Cardiff.

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It's believed to be the first time that a Royal Navy warship has marked the Hindu celebration formally.

HMS Dragon will be lit up for Diwali. Picture: MoDHMS Dragon will be lit up for Diwali. Picture: MoD
HMS Dragon will be lit up for Diwali. Picture: MoD | Other 3rd Party
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In keeping with the Diwali spirit, the 200 sailors aboard will be treated to a specially-prepared Indian meal by the destroyer's chefs.

Dragon – already the most recognisable ship in the Royal Navy thanks to the giant red emblem of her namesake mythical beast on her bow – is currently escorting new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth as she conducts fast-jet training with her F-35 Lightnings.

Honorary Commander Raj Aggarwal said: ‘I recently had the privilege to meet the ship’s company of HMS Dragon and will be sending a message to the Captain, Commander Giles Palin, his crew and their loved ones: A Happy Diwali – happiness, good health and success in all their activities.’

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Mr Aggarwal is a Cardiff businessman and India's honorary consul in Wales who was recognised by the Royal Navy last year for his advocacy of and support for the senior service.

Diwali is a five-day festival and it is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.

In Hinduism it symbolises the spiritual ‘victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance’.

Diwali begins on Sunday this year.

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