The Mayor of London will celebrate Diwali in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 28 October. The festival of lights will see the central London square taken over by music and dance performances, food and drink, market stalls selling Indian crafts, and activities for the whole family, as well as spectacular light installations.
Londoners of all backgrounds, and visitors to the capital, are able to attend the free celebrations which have been organised to mark Diwali, which is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in India and many other countries around the world. The Diwali Festival is produced in association with the Diwali in London committee.
The family-friendly event will run from 1pm to 7pm, with a dynamic stage show including dance performances from Natraj Dance Academy and CutiePie Dance Group, a mass choreographed Ghoomar dance and a Garba dance that the crowd can join in with. There will be stand-up performances in partnership with The Soho Theatre, children’s activities, a puppet show, as well as have-a-go yoga sessions, sari dressing, dance workshops, talks, and cultural crafts. Market stalls will be selling a range of food – with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available.
As 2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War, the Square will host a WW1 exhibition bus, and the Royal British Legion will have a stall honouring the service of South Asian soldiers.
The celebrations will draw to a close with a spectacular light show, to mark the annual Festival of Lights.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I want to send my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali in London and around the world.
“During this wonderful festival of lights, we come together to reflect on the past year together, and mark the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and friendship over enmity.
“Diwali’s central message of peace and mutual respect is one that I know all Londoners support – we are a city that celebrates our differences, and London is open to all. From my family to yours, Happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.”
Mr Nitin Palan MBE from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple, London, Diwali in London Committee Chair 2018, said: “This will be our 17th year of celebrations in the heart of London – and we hope in the hearts of Londoners. The lights of Diwali remind us all to be a beacon of light ourselves, spreading that inner quality of love peace AND harmony – come and be part of the celebrations.”
Anita Nomula, Telugu Association of London and member of Diwali in London Committee, said: “It’s wonderful to celebrate Festival of Lights along with my fellow Londoners. We pray that the divine lights of Diwali bring to you all peace, prosperity and good health. Have a joyful Diwali”.