Come and celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights in Trafalgar Square. There’s something for everyone at this fantastic free event.
Highlights include a packed stage programme, showcasing the best contemporary Asian music and dance from professional artists and talented community groups. There’s also a live catwalk show, Asian bazaar, beauty marquee, food and family fun.
See the full line up below:
- Stage programme
- Asian Bride Magazine’s fashion show with top Indian influenced designers
- Fun activities presented by our sponsors
- Uttar Pradesh Travel Zone
- Arts, crafts and storytelling for children
- Theatrical animation and roaming characters
- Pungra dance fitness classes
- A wellbeing marquee for ayurvedic massage, health information and beauty products
- Tasty vegetarian food and Indian lassi drinks
- Asian Bride Magazine Trade Emporium and Henna Zone
- Diwali Street Bazaar
- Free saris
- Diwali culture zone
Plus other bespoke animations and special Diwali light surprises not to be missed!
About Diwali, the festival of lights
The word Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’ which are lit to mark the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November every year, by Sikhs, Hindus and Jains across the world.
The word ‘Diwali’ means 'rows of lighted lamps', and that’s why this well-known Hindu festival is known as the ‘festival of Lights’. It’s a time when houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called ‘diyas’.
Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that accompany it differ across India.
In northern India and elsewhere, Diwali marks Rama's return from 14 years of exile to Ayodhya, after the defeat of Ravana and his subsequent coronation as king. In Gujarat, the festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. While in Nepal, Diwali commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon king Narakaasur. In Bengal, it is associated with the goddess Kali.
For many Indians this five-day festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. For them, it symbolises the start of the new business year. Some Hindus will say prayers to the goddess for a successful year, lighting lamps to help guide her into their homes. In India, Hindus leave their windows and doors open during this time and draw Rangoli patterns on the floor - the most popular subject being the lotus flower.
In Britain, as in India, the festival season is a time for spring-cleaning the home, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts (often sweets and dried fruits), preparing festive meals, decorating buildings with fancy lights and organising huge firework displays.
The Diwali culture zone, hosted by the Diwali in London Committee, includes traditional food displays - Annakut, plus interactive quizzes and information on the cultures, faiths and traditions of communities that celebrate Diwali.
Find out more about the Diwali in London Committee.