Diwali comes to Leicester


Leicester enjoys jubilant Diwali celebrations for 2014

People in their thousands attended Diwali celebrations at the Golden Mile, Leicester to celebrate the auspicious festival of light.

Belgrave road, where the festivities took place, was closed to traffic for four hours during a party that featured live entertainment including classical Indian, Bollywood and Bhangra dancers.

The public could see beautiful Rangoli art on the ground, a folk art from India where intricate patterns are drawn onto the ground. A colourful fireworks display also took place to everyone’s delight. But the icing on the cake in terms of spectacle was Golden Mile, another name for Belgrave Road, being illuminated from top to bottom with over 6,000 light bulbs.

The event was hosted by Leicester City Council and Leicester Hindu Festival Council.

Lalita Chapaneri of Western Park said, “People are all together. There is a great atmosphere and food and is very friendly and the children can run about and enjoy themselves.”

Rebecca, of West End, Leicester added, “It’s absolutely incredible and brings so many people of different cultures together.”

The entire evening was a delight for the senses with amazing sights, smells and sounds throughout. Children happily released fire crackers onto the ground whilst Dohl drummers could be seen and heard playing for lively crowds.

Thankfully the weather was peaceful enough for celebrations to take place.

Even police officers were seen to take part with the public, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Edens, who was sampling some of the food on offer said, “It is a really good atmosphere. It is a joyous, friendly and happy occasion. All praise goes to the organisers of an event of this size which is so well run.”

The event attracted an amazing 350,000 people this year making it the largest Diwali event outside of India.

City Councillor, Piara Singh Clair, chair of the Diwali working group, said, “It’s a great day for Leicester. People come from all over the East Midlands and England to enjoy the festival in Leicester.

“It goes from strength to strength and has grown bigger and better. You’ve only got to look at the smiles on the faces of the children to see how happy they are.”


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