The return of the annual festival of lights – Diwali – is coming up on the 19th October, and as it lasts five days in total, celebrations will continue on until the weekend.
It’s a bright and beautiful celebration – and one of the most important celebrations in India and its diaspora.
The event marks the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.
Such a theme means that houses are lavishly decorated with candles and colourful lights, families recite prayers in the name of happy, healthy futures and fireworks are set off (often coinciding with Bonfire Night ), as well as a range of other festivities.
There’s a range of different events for the famous festival all around the UK. Here’s how each area is celebrating Diwali to help you decide which one suits you most.
Seeing as Diwali celebrations in Leicester are one of the biggest outside India (37,000 attended the light switch on last year), this year’s festivities have been amped up even further.
The 110-foot Ferris wheel is returning to the Diwali celebrations this year and will be on Belgrave Road until Sunday 5th November, lit at night to provide a glittering centrepiece to the event.
Heading up to Leicester for the festivities? Here’s a few hotels that might take your fancy , perfect for turning the event into a weekend getaway.
On November 12th, there will be a fireworks bonanza at Coventry’s Daimler Community Centre, as well as a three-course meal, live music and entertainment.
National Express are currently offering 25% off standard fares if you’re travelling as part of a group and don’t want to drive.
Northampton dignitaries took place at 4.30pm on Saturday (October 14) in Northampton town centre’s Market Square, Abington Street.
The celebrations included a selection of traditional workshops such as Henna tattoos, “how to wear a saree”, cultural games and exhibitions, as well as – of course – culinary delights from Indian food stalls.
But the highlight of the event was perhaps the famous Diwali Lantern Procession, which includes life-size animals such as Harminder the Elephant.
Conveniently placed between London and Birmingham, Northampton is easy to get to by train, and if you book in advance, you can save 43% when you use TrainLine.
Located near Watford, on October 22nd, the Bhaktivedanta Manor will be putting on a range of activities for the big day.
There will be sa colourful stage show, with drama and traditional dance as well as of course, insanely delicious food.
A fireworks display will follow from from 6.30pm. And because no Diwali is complete without a good meal, free vegetarian meals will be served at 7pm and candle offerings from 7.30pm.
This Hindu manor house is also rated number 2 on Tripadvisor’s list of things to do and see in the area. If you do pay a visit you won’t be short of interesting facts -including that the manor was given to the Hare Krishna movement by former Beatle George Harrison.
North: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, north-west London, is well known for hosting one of Britain’s biggest Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations.
This year’s official festivities will take place on October 19th, complete with a firework display from 8.15pm to 8.45pm.
East: If you’re located farther east, celebrate Diwali in Canary Wharf, where an array of different events will take place between October 18th to the 20th, during the day.
These celebrations will include Bollywood Performances and interactive workshops.
Central: Trafalgar Square’s National Gallery will celebrate Diwali on October 21st, where you can enjoy the ‘Ramayana’ story’s adventures as well as make a diva lamp to light the path home for Diwali’s heroes: Rama and Sita.