Diwali in the UK

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Diwali geetings card

a typical Diwali card. This is from Le Passge to india

The five-day celebration of Diwali is underway with today being the most important day of the festival. From having limited appeal fifty years ago, today it is one of the most widespread festivals in the UK with Leicester probably providing receiving the greatest number of visitors to the attraction which again includes a large ferris wheel as part of the fun.

Diwali is a festival of lights, not like a light installation that might be set against a large building but a more personal one. Householders light candles as well as having a variety of colourful lights and these provide a backdrop to prayers which are made for a happy future. The idea of light is that it triumphs over darkness just as good will win over evil and optimism over pessimism.

Cards are sent out to friends and family and companies also offer best wishes such as this image from the Indian tour operator, Le Passage to India.

Included in the celebrations will be firework displays some of which will coincide with November 5th but which might be on any evening over the festival period. Whilst some displays will be organised many households will have their own private fireworks parties.

As I mentioned, Leicester will be one of the centres of the celebrations and claims that it is the largest celebration outside India. As well as the ferris wheel which will be lit up at night, the New Walk Museum and Gallery will be chronicling the development of the festival in the UK with photographs and memorabilia going back to the 1960’s.  There have already been Diwali images projected onto the windows of 50, New Walk including images of Hindu gods and a Rangoli art exhibition at the Belgrave Neighbourhood centre.

The lights were switched on in Coventry eight days ago. But today is the main day when candles will be displayed outside the Hindu Temple Society in Stoney Stanton Road and then tonight there will be fireworks. The city is making the most of the celebrations as they will continue until another firework display on 12th of November at the Daimler Green Community Centre.

In London, the only official event takes place in Neasden today but there will be no fireworks this year. Yesterday the National gallery held light displays in Trafalgar Square and other London suburbs will be having their own events. The biggest event took place in Trafalgar Square a fortnight ago which does seem to elongate Diwali into a month long celebration rather than the supposed five days.

In Woking the main celebration will be on 3 November 2016 when the town centre will be lit up with a parade of colourful lanterns and an evening of Indian music, song and dance at the H G Wells Centre. In Cardiff the main celebrations take place on November 14th at the Millennium Centre. In Birmingham the day was celebrated as long ago as October

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