HUNDREDS of people braved the cold autumnal night to celebrate the festival of Diwali in Southampton.

The Vedic Society Hindu Temple was the centre of the celebrations across Hampshire to mark the New Year with fireworks lighting up the night sky.

After the rockets fired into the air and scattered colourful sparks, there was traditional dancing and a service by the priest of the temple, Ritesh Bhatt, where devotion was made to the goddess of wealth.

“It was brilliant, we had a great turnout, probably about 300 people were here,” said the secretary of the Radcliffe Road temple, Dhurjati Shukla.

“The fireworks are the main highlight for tonight it’s gives people the opportunity to meet others here.”