Diwali celebrations return to Trafalgar Square

22 October 2012

The celebrations to mark the festival of Diwali return to Trafalgar Square on Sunday 28 October, with an uplifting and colourful mix of music, dance and live performance, as well as displays and food stalls.

Diwali is five day festival celebrated in India and many other countries around the by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, which each year takes place between mid-October and mid-November. The celebrations in Trafalgar Square are free and open to all and organised by the Mayor of London in association with the Diwali in London Committee, with support from presenting partner Lycamobile, as well as Zee TV and Incredible India.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'London's many communities make an important contribution to the social life and economic prosperity of the capital and celebrations like the Diwali festival add to our city's vibrant cultural calendar. I am delighted to support this wonderful event, which brings a wonderful boost of colour as the nights draw in. It's a festival, which with values rooted in peace and mutual respect is of relevance to all Londoners as well as to Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. To everyone celebrating in London and beyond a happy and prosperous Diwali.'

Subaskaran Allirajah - Chairman and Founder of Lycamobile, commented: 'At Lycamobile we are committed to forging long term ties across all communities through supporting a wide range of activities. As a proud sponsor of Diwali on the Square for the third consecutive year, our mission is to help our customers stay in touch with their friends and family during the festival of lights, a key event in the Hindu, Jain and Sikh calendar. We are committed to providing our customers with high quality and affordable services. We would like to wish our Hindu, Jain and Sikh customers a Happy Diwali.'

Virad Kaul, Territory Head - ZEE Network, Europe said, 'Zee has been a market leader entertaining audiences in the UK for over 17 years now and our partnership with the Diwali Festival for the third consecutive year could not have come at a better time when ZEE is celebrating its 20 years of providing pure entertainment. Keeping South Asian values, trends and traditions at its heart of its entertainment our association with the Mayor's Diwali Festival is ideal and a mutual fit on all fronts. Zee reaches every South Asian community and can be credited with attracting massive crowds to Trafalgar Square through a heavy-weight campaign over the last two years. Once again we are looking forward to delivering a full house at Trafalgar Square by extending a warm Zee Family welcome to all along with exciting and breathtaking entertainment on the Festival stage to create a fabulous start to the Diwali celebrations.'

The word Diwali or Deepavali means 'a row of lamps', which are lit to signify the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The festival marks a new beginning, a renewal of commitment to family values, and represents the universally revered values of love, reflection, forgiveness and knowledge.

 

Notes to editors

Event: Diwali on the Square

Date: Sunday 28 October 2012

Times: 2pm - 7pm

Venue: Trafalgar Square, London

Entry: FREE – ALL WELCOME

Information: www.london.gov.uk/diwali / www.diwaliinlondon.com

Programme (subject to change at short notice):

2pm Traditional Garba dancing in the centre of the Square with live music by Bali and Angrez.

3.15pm Opening Ceremony with Diwali messages and speechesSpecial guest: Richard Barnes

Deputy Mayor

3.35pm This year's event has an Olympic theme starting with a Ganesh dance from Winners, followed by children celebrating our British medal success singing 'We are the Champions'

Shamaa Dance portraying an Indian street game in traditional kathak style

Taal Torongo from Bangladesh - tea pickers folk dance

Bollywood Dance London

Encee Academy - Spanish flamenco music interwoven into traditional Indian dancing

Dancephrenics – rock from girls strutting their guitars

Binal Trivedi's Academy - Olympic torch dance.

Saraswati Academy of Indian Dance Honey's Dance Academy –multi-faith song and dance

Honey's Dance Academy –multi-faith song and dance

5.15pm Official Media partner Zee TV presents performances by Ash King, Sonia Panesar, Juggy D, Navin Kundra, Bhangra dance group VPA Entertainment, Punjabi Hit Squad, Alyssia, Shiavali and Swaati. With presenter Asad Shan and special guest stars

6.40pm Closing ceremony with religious hymns and musical Aarti provided by Oshwal Association of the UK

7pm Event ends

Notes:

  1. Diwali on the Square is organised by the Mayor of London in association with the Diwali in London Committee (D I L). The committee includes representatives from Art of Living Foundation, BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (UK), Chinmaya Mission UK, Ilford VHP Hindu Temple, International Society for Krishna Consciousness –ISKCON, Metropolitan Police Hindu Association, Oshwal Association of the UK, Sai School Harrow, National Hindu Students Forum UK, The Brahmin Society North London
  2. For more information about Diwali and the Diwali in London Committee, go to www.diwaliinlondon.com.
  3. Diwali on the Square 2012 is supported by presenting partner Lycamobile. It is also supported by Incredible India and official media partner Zee TV.
  4. ZEE Network - Launched in 1995, ZEE Network, UK was the first South Asian Entertainment Network of its kind. Since then it has grown in popularity and become synonymous with South Asian entertainment. Zee has continually entertained and engages audiences with a unique blend of high-quality, localised and innovative programming. It also offers the world’s largest Hindi film library, with an option of English and French subtitles. Worldwide ZEE has 31 channels and 23 International beams reaching 650 million viewers across 168 Countries through a global entertainment network.
  5. Zee is amongst the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi and other South Asian regional language programming in the world. With its commitment to meet audience needs, it has brought five entertainment channels to the UK viewers reaching