Leicester lights up with a festive celebration of Diwali.

By Ayan Omar

Thousands of people will gather tonight(WedNOV7) to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light in Leicester.

Diwali is a five-day festival celebrated by people of many faiths such as Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the globe.

The festival sends the message of good triumphing over evil and truth over falsehood. It marks the start of the New Year for Hindus celebrating light over darkness.

The festival falls on a different time every year depending on the position of the moon. This year, celebrations began on November 5 and end on November 9, but the big day of celebration in Leicester is tonight(WedNOV7).

Dhanteras, the first day, marks the beginning of the celebration, followed by the Choti Diwali festival, celebrating the defeat of the demon god and preparing feasts.

Wednesday is the main event of the week, with feasting, praying and spending time with loved ones.

Day four is Govardhan Puja, commemorating the victory of Lord Krishna over Lord Indra, and celebrates the strong bond between spouses.

The last day of Diwali, the Bhaiya Dooj festival, is celebrated to honour siblings’ bonds, and the custom is for brothers and sisters to exchange gifts.

 Lights, music, food and colourful decorations are essential for the festival celebration of Diwali and many attend the Diwali lights switch on event in Leicester.

Fireworks are displayed to celebrate the legend of Rama who according to folklore was greeted with lights and celebration after returning from exile.

Colourful rangoli artwork and earthen candles called diyas are used to decorate homes to create the festive feeling. Families and friends share traditional sweets and gifts.

For families celebrating Diwali, it is traditional to clean their homes and wear new clothes in honour of the new season.

With Leicester being one of the largest multiracial city in the UK, Diwali celebrations in Leicester are the biggest outside of India. Leicester’s celebration regularly attracts 35,000 people to the city for its light switch on and Diwali events.

Leicester celebrates Diwali with fireworks, traditional Indian feasts, music and colourful lights covering everywhere. The city’s Belgrave Road is known as the main hub for the festival and it’s where most of the celebration takes place

Diwali Day, today, is arguably the biggest and most famous for its spectacular fireworks covering the sky above Belgrave Road.

The Diwali Village is again in Cossington Street this year with more exciting events planned by the Leicester Hindu Festival Council for families and young people.

The Diwali wheel of light has returned after last year’s success. The 110 foot Ferris wheel is in Belgrave Road and will be lit at night, creating a glittering centrepiece to the festivities.

Tickets cost £5 for adults, £15 for families of 2 adults 2 children/1 adult 3 children and £4 for students. The ride lasts for a thrilling 8 to 10 minutes.


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