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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Unique ghost hunt at ‘most haunted’ Belgrave Hall in Leicester

Belgrave Hall, one of Leicestershire’s most haunted buildings, will get even spookier this Halloween as it hosts a one-off ghost hunt.

The building, as seen on Living TV’s ‘Most Haunted’, is famous for it’s ghostly goings on, and will be taken over by a nationally renowned events company for the night.

On Saturday 31 October, Dusk Till Dawn Events will put on a ghost hunt at the hall, which will include Table Tipping and Glass Divination.

Nathan Gladwin, from Dusk Till Dawn event, said: “This really is ghost hunting at it’s best at such fantastic location.

“There will be full use of ghost hunting equipment, as well various experiments such as table tipping and glass divination.

“Bring along your cameras and any other recording equipment, because you never know, you may catch something on film.”

The building was built in 1709, and ghostly sightings have been reported at the hall for years.

In 1999, Belgrave Hall became famous throughout the world when two ghostly figures were recorded by security cameras in the gardens.

Other ghostly phenomena reported over the years is that of footsteps on the first floor landings and heavy doors shutting of their accord.

The ghost hunt, which will take place on the night of Halloween, promises to be a unique, and frightening, experience.

There will be vigils throughout the night in the most ghostly active parts of the location.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be supplied by Dusk Till Dawn Events.

Nathan Gladwin said: “There may be no heating at the building, and it may be very very cold and very dark so we urge our guests to bring warm clothes and torches.

If you want to attend the event, you can book tickets on the Dusk Till Dawn website.