Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights and this year you can come and celebrate this wonderful festival in iconic Trafalgar Square. On Sunday 27th October the square will be filled with colour and light as people come to celebrate from all corners of the city. The event is scheduled to run between 14.00 and 19.00 and looks set to be one of the biggest and brightest free festival events that takes place in the city this year. There is lots of free entertainment scheduled including lots of music and dance. Taking to the stage will be a number of community groups from the city as well as some well known professional performers and artists. All of your senses are sure to be stimulated at this event as the air is bound to be heavily fragranced by the food stalls dotted around the square. There are activities for adults and children alike which makes this a very family friendly event.
The festival of Diwali is celebrated by members of the Sikh, Hindu and Jain communities around the world. It falls between the middle of October and the middle of November each year. It is a celebration of the triumph of light over darkness, and of good over evil. The word Diwali itself means ‘row of lamps’, so the festival is all about lighting up the world and forcing the darkness away. There are several London based community organisations which have come together to form the Diwali in London Committee which is working closely with the Mayor of London’s Office in order to bring the festival in Trafalgar Square into colourful life. It is a festival that brings out all that is good about local communities that can work together to create something wonderful. It is a festival that is very much centred around hope, overcoming despair and making a new beginning, true of intent and pure of virtue.
Diwali in Trafalgar Square
How the celebration of the festival in the grand setting of Trafalgar Square was decided is quite inspirational. The idea started life as something discussed between a group of three friends. They wanted to do something which would reach out to the people of London. Something that would not only educate them about the festival, but also allow them to become a part of it and enjoy it. It was an idea designed to bring harmony between the different multi cultural communities across the city. The plan took form in the dining room of one of their homes. The same home in which they met with people from the GLA (Greater London Authority) and outlined their plans, and so the seeds of an idea were sown, the fruits of which can be witnessed in the massive and joyous celebration that is Diwali in Trafalgar Square. Now the people on the committee are drawn from all sectors of the community with many different organisations backing the event. The celebration has taken place in Trafalgar Square for the past eleven years, growing bigger and stronger every year.