The Diwali on the Square event included cultural performances from Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
By: Pramod Thomas
Thousands gathered at Trafalgar Square in London on Sunday (9) to celebrate Diwali and to enjoy dance, music, activities and food.
The celebrations started with 200 dancers in the main square followed by artistic performances from London’s Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities.
As part of the event, Neasden Temple’s Diwali festival experience, dance workshops, yoga and meditation, glimpse of goddesses, sari and turban tying, the Diwali culture zone, the Unity Marquee, a Children’s marquee, plus henna and face painting were also held.
An array of South Asian food stalls also served up traditional and fusion, vegan and vegetarian cuisine.
The London mayor’s free annual event was held after almost three years is a partnership with the Diwali in London committee.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Diwali on the Square is always special as Londoners and visitors of all ages come together to celebrate the Festival of Lights, with a glorious blend of music, culture, food, and art.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Hindu and Sikh neighbours I grew up alongside, I have been lucky enough to experience, on many occasions, the joy and unity that Diwali brings and I know Londoners across our city will be joining together with their families and friends to celebrate.
“I want to take this opportunity to wish all those celebrating a very happy Diwali.”
The Diwali on the Square event also included cultural performances from other parts of India, including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, hailed the “terrific Diwali festive spirit” at the event organised annually by the Mayor of London’s office.
Nitin Palan MBE FCA, on behalf of the Diwali in London committee, said: “I’m delighted that, after an absence of almost three years, Diwali in London was celebrated in its full fervour in Trafalgar Square. This year’s theme ‘In the joy of other lies our own’ was relevant for both Diwali and the world in general, as the need for kindness, harmony and selfless service could not be greater at this current time. On behalf of the Diwali in London team, we wish everyone lots of happiness and hope you are inspired to add happiness to the lives of others.”
There was also a special light- up moment at the square in celebration of the festival of lights on October 24.