Diwali is a five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world and the Diwali celebrations locally in Leicester are one of the largest outside of India and have become world famous.
The Diwali festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. This is why you’ll see millions of lights shining from houses, outside doors, shops, temples and community buildings. On the run up to Diwali night (which is at the end of the five-day festival), people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and workplaces. On Diwali night itself, lights appear everywhere, there are prayers, followed by a family feast and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends.
Every year I really look forward to the Leicester Diwali aerial fireworks and outdoor entertainment which attract tens of thousands of people to the city. It’s such a cool festival to be part of, with lots of activities for all the family to join in; from craft fairs and jewellery making to art exhibitions and temple tours. This year I was there on Sunday 16 October for the illuminations and Diwali lights switch-on.There are some pictures here if you want to take a look. I even joined in the music and dance extravaganza and I’m relieved to say my own dance moves weren’t filmed! On Diwali day itself, on Sunday 30 October, I can even repeat the festival experience and enjoy the thrill of a night-time ride on the Wheel of Light (a 110-foot Ferris wheel).
Being a foody, I eagerly anticipate the Diwali celebratory food that my friends bring into work for all of us to eat and share. The food always tastes so gorgeous and I love the sweetmeats.
Diwali in Leicester is sooo very inclusive and diverse and welcomes everyone, regardless of their religion or faith. Diwali really does live up to its name of being a victory of good over evil, light over darkness.If you live in the Midlands, I can promise you it’s worth a trip. Why not come and visit?
Do you celebrate Diwali in your area?