Trafalgar Square will be transformed with magical light displays, floating lanterns and a huge model of the elephant Ganesh as Diwali celebrations return to the square courtesy of the Mayor of London and the Diwali in London Committee. Crowds will be treated to free Indian sweets, as well as messages and prayers for peace.
Sunrise Radio presenters Tony Patti and Kejal will present a programme of performances including music from Hunterz and Golders Green Temple Indian Scottish Band; dance from Malti Patel, Sapnay School, Satish Shah, Angel Dancers and Bhramakumari, dance-drama from Usha Raghavan and songs from Bina Mistry, Mahesh Gadvhi and Nitu Gadhvi.
There will also be special guest appearances by DJ Bobby Friction, and actor Kabir Bedi. And there will be a chance to see Rifco Arts presenting an extract from their show, The Deranged Marriage, featuring Lulu the elephant.
Diwali has religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, and is celebrated by many communities throughout the capital. Last year, Diwali on the Square attracted over 20,000 Londoners and visitors – it is free and everyone is welcome.
Diwali in the Square 2005 is supported by India Tourism, Metropolitan Police Authority, and British Transport Police. Official Radio Partner - Sunrise Radio, Official Media Partner - B4U.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone said:
'Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a wonderful opportunity for all communities to come together and celebrate the richness and diversity of London. Celebrated in India and throughout the world to welcome in the New Year, it symbolises the power of good to triumph over evil and the renewal of life.
'This year's Diwali celebration takes place in the context of great joy and sadness. London won the competition to host the greatest sporting event in the world – the Olympics – then suffered the tragedy of the terrorist attacks the following day.
'I want to thank London's Asian community for their support in helping win the Olympics and their solidarity in standing together with all communities against the terrorists and those who tried to exploit the atrocities to divide us.
'Diwali is an exciting vibrant and colourful occasion, which brings people together. I warmly wish you a prosperous and happy Diwali!'
Notes to Editors
The Festival of Light - Diwali in the Square celebrations return to the capital
Event: Diwali in the Square
Date: Sunday 16 October 2005
Time: 4pm to 8pm
Venue: Trafalgar Square FREE – ALL WELCOME