Thousands gathered on Sunday to witness the Diwali lights switch on ceremony on Leicester’s Golden Mile. The event drew all members of the community together to enjoy the celebrations, which consisted of live cultural entertainment on stage and a huge firework display on Cossington Park. The vibrant colours and festive music certainly made the event an unmissable one, said one festival goer, with another saying “what a brilliant atmosphere”.
The festival of light marks the start of the Hindu New Year. Many in attendance at the switch on, were not only impressed by the dance performances and the extravagant firework display, but how different communities all came together. The Diwali celebration in Leicester is one of the biggest outside of India and the city is expecting more visitors on Diwali day itself.
It was clear that everyone embraced the festival and came together as a community. A festival goer said; “It’s great to see Leicester out celebrating and everybody having a really happy Diwali”.
Many took part in the festivities on Sunday, on Belgrave Road, which began with the illumination of the city’s Diwali lights along the Golden Mile. The Golden Mile will be immersed in light throughout the festive period until Diwali day, when the celebrations will continue at Cossington Street Recreation Ground. Another festival goer stated; “the community has all come together, everyone’s enjoyed it”.
The show was enjoyed by all ages and cultures. The firework displays had over 5,000 separate effects in each show and an enormous finale, which is one of the reasons why the festival is one of the largest celebrations of Diwali outside of India.
As the evening drew to a close, one young crowd member announced “I wish everybody a happy Diwali”. As Diwali day draws closer, many prepare for another celebration which is set to be even bigger and better than before.