Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, was celebrated in Trafalgar Square London, with a full program of dance, songs and entertainment for the whole family. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness
Dressed up as Lord Rama, his wife, Sita, his brother Lakshmana, and their army of devoted monkeys and villagers, children from the local community took part in a parade – or a Ram Yatra – to launch the Mayor of London’s Diwali Festival, in Trafalgar Square on Sunday, 12 October. Leaving from the Southbank, the colourful procession symbolised the triumph of righteousness and the return of hope and happiness (in the form of Lord Rama) to the kingdom of Ayodhya – in this case, Trafalgar Square.
Londoners from all communities, as well as visitors to the capital, attended the celebrations, which featured lively music and dance, delicious food and drink, plus activities for children to enjoy. The free event was organised to mark Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’, which is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in India and many other countries around the world. It was staged by the Mayor of London in association with the DIL (Diwali in London) Committee, with support from headline sponsor, Lebara, and media partner, Zee TV.
An entertaining afternoon kicked off with traditional garba dancing in the middle of the Square, offering everyone the chance to join in. On the main stage, there was a variety of entertaining performances, ranging from professional performers to local community musicians and dancers. There wasl also a fashion show of Indian inspired clothing coordinated by Asian Bride Magazine.
Revellers had Ayurvedic massage, tried on free saris, get a henna tattoo, pick up top health tips, learn more about Diwali and the faiths behind it. and enjoy illuminating light display. Throughout the day, a range of stalls soldl a variety of tasty vegetarian food and non-alcoholic drinks, while shoppers checked out the Fashion Emporium and Diwali Street Bazaar.
And there was singing and dancing in the rain.