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Diwali crowds gather alongside the Wheel of Light on Belgrave Road in Leicester

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Diwali

About

Diwali

Fireworks across the dark winter sky, tempting and exotic aromas of Indian feasts in the air, music and laughter, celebration and lights… colourful lights, everywhere: this is Diwali in Leicester, and it truly is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Diwali celebrations in Leicester are famously some of the best in the UK and some of the biggest outside of India. The festivities are loudest along Belgrave Road, in the heart of the city's Asian community, where the two main events take place each year.

The fantastic Diwali lights switch-on brings the Golden Mile alive with light and colour – be prepared to gaze in wonder at an explosion of fireworks and over 6,000 lights, twinkling against the night sky. Two weeks of cultural celebrations are rounded off on Diwali day with a bang! A spectacular fireworks show is the culmination of a night of Bollywood dances and music performances.

This is a street party like no other – over 35,000 people of all faiths attend the switch on of the lights on the Golden Mile, and even more come along on Diwali day itself to experience the buzzing street atmosphere, be dazzled by colourful fashion and gold jewellery shops and indulge in the mouth-watering food on offer from some of the country’s finest Indian restaurants. The Diwali Village caters for young and old of all communities, welcoming everyone to celebrate the Festival of Light in Leicester.

But it’s not all about the Golden Mile. The Diwali lights radiate out across the city in the form of a cultural event programme – from theatre performances to craft activities, cultural talks and exhibitions – there’s events for people of all ages and cultures to learn about and get involved with the celebratory spirit of the festival.

Look out each year for the Diwali Leicester guide – a full programme of events in Leicester along with top tips for how best to enjoy the Festival of Light in the city. You can also learn about the significance of the festival to different faiths who celebrate it. Hindu’s celebrate Diwali for different reasons, but all have a common thread of celebrating the victory of good over evil, and of light over darkness. Some worship the Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, to pray for success and happiness in the coming year. Sikh’s mark the day as Bandi Chhor Divas, remembering Guru Hargobind Singh's release from captivity and his rescue of 52 princes. Jain’s also mark the day as a celebration of Lord Mahavir’s final liberation from the cycle of rebirth – attaining moksha.

Diwali Leicester 2018 will run from 28 October to 11 November, including the famous Diwali Lights Switch on 2018 on Sunday 28 October and Diwali Day 2018 on Wednesday 7 November.

Find out even more in the Full Diwali Guide

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  • Diwali Switch On

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Belgrave Road & Venues across the city, Leicester

Tel: +44 (0) 1164543600

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