Diwali Festival Returns to Trafalgar Square: A Vibrant Celebration of Lights and Culture
LONDON, October 29, 2023
The heart of London came alive in a splendid display of color, culture, and community as the Diwali on the Square festival, organized by the Mayor of London, made a triumphant return to Trafalgar Square. Diwali, also known as the ‘festival of lights,’ was celebrated with fervor on Sunday, October 29, 2023, as people from across London’s Hindu, Jain, Sikh communities, and beyond gathered to mark this joyous occasion.
The festivities kicked off at lunchtime with a mesmerizing opening ceremony featuring 200 vibrantly-clothed dancers who dazzled the main stage. Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, is a festival that warmly invites everyone to partake in its radiant celebrations. The vibrant dancers set the tone for an afternoon and evening filled with free entertainment and activities that captivated attendees of all ages.
Throughout the event, the main stage played host to an array of performances, including energetic Bollywood dances and melodious Punjabi singing medleys, where enthusiastic participation from the audience was actively encouraged. The Diwali spirit was palpable as music, dance, and laughter filled the iconic square.
Beyond the stage, Trafalgar Square transformed into a hub of cultural experiences. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in meditation and yoga, explore bead workshops, enjoy puppet shows, and learn the art of tying saris and turbans. The comedy from Soho Theatre added a touch of humor to the festivities, while the presence of henna artists allowed visitors to adorn themselves with beautiful designs.
Families with young children found ample entertainment with dedicated activities to keep the little ones engaged. Meanwhile, food enthusiasts savored the delicious vegan and vegetarian options available, a true delight for the taste buds.
One of the highlights of this year’s Diwali celebration was the presence of the Diwali Queen, who is part of Kalasetu, a collaborative project between Subrang Arts and Kinetika, commissioned on behalf of This is Croydon, the London Borough of Culture 2023. Her radiant presence added to the charm of the event.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who has been an advocate for multicultural celebrations in the city, expressed his delight at the successful return of Diwali on the Square. He emphasized that the event showcased the diversity and unity of London’s residents, making it a day to remember for everyone.
The Diwali on the Square festival is a magnificent celebration of tradition, art, and the harmonious coexistence of cultures. It’s a day that encapsulates the spirit of Diwali, and everyone who attended left with a heart full of joy and cherished memories. As the sun set over Trafalgar Square, the colorful lights of Diwali shone bright, bringing the vibrant festival to a spectacular close.
The organizers look forward to continuing this tradition in the years to come, spreading the light and joy of Diwali to all corners of London and beyond. Wishing you all a very happy Diwali!!