Leicester lights up as dazzling Diwali celebrations begin

By Jayden Whitworth

Illuminated: The Golden mile is lit-up with Diwali lights

The Diwali celebrations have landed in Leicester with hundreds of people flocking to see the famous Golden Mile, ahead of this month’s Diwali celebrations.

The festival lights switch-on took place on Sunday, October 9, and marked the start of the Diwali celebrations here in Leicester.

The festivities continue through to Diwali day which takes place on Monday, October 24. 

Diwali day marks the end of the festive period, and the two-week-long celebration will be crowned with a firework display, entertainment, and a giant puppet parade.

The celebrations in Leicester are known to be some of the best outside of India with the iconic wheel of light being the main attraction.

Belgrave Eye: The wheel of light in the background of The Golden Mile

The wheel of light is back this year and is open from 4pm to 10pm, Monday to Friday, and 2pm until 10pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Leicester is one of the most culturally diverse and ethnically inclusive cities in the UK and that is something that the city prides itself on.

The Diwali celebrations have become a cornerstone of the annual festival calendar and with this year being the first year with no COVID-19 restrictions, people are desperate to get involved in Belgrave.

Bhavini Parmar, 43, from Belgrave, said: “This part of Leicester looks amazing at this time of the year, and it is great for everyone here.

“It gets very busy, but it is great to see so many people out here to see the lights.

Diwali is a festival that is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, and it represents messages of good over evil, of truth over falsehood, and light shining in the dark. 

Diwali is most commonly known as the festival of light and people often celebrate by lighting up their homes and the streets of their neighbourhood, with vibrant lights and decorations.

Adorned: Decorations on Belgrave Road

Diwali is a time for people to be together and exchange gifts and spread peace and goodwill to all.

Bhavini said: “For me Diwali is an opportunity to be with family and friends and share these moments with them.

“Usually, all my family come together, and we have a big dinner to celebrate.”

The Golden Mile in Belgrave remains alight with dazzling light decorations and will be up until October 24 where this years’ Diwali celebrations come to an end.

For more information on this year’s Diwali events, visit www.visitleicester.info/diwali

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