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Diwali festival set to get underway

Published on Thursday, October 13, 2016

LEICESTER’S world-famous Diwali celebrations are due to bring a spectacular two-week fanfare of light, colour and festivities to venues across the city from this weekend.

Celebrations run from Friday, October 14, to Sunday, October 30, and will include the return of the spectacular 110-foot ‘Wheel of Light’ taking visitors high above the Golden Mile.

The festivities are some of the biggest outside of India, with around 35,000 people attending the two main events – the Diwali lights switch-on and Diwali Day itself.

The hugely-popular Diwali lights switch-on event takes place on Sunday, October 16, at Belgrave Road. The road will be closed to traffic from 5pm, with the entertainment on stage running from 5.30pm to 8pm.

The lights will be switched on at 7.30pm, followed by a spectacular aerial firework show over the Golden Mile – unlike previous years, the fireworks will not be on Cossington Street Recreation Ground.

For the first time this year, the Diwali lights switch-on event will also feature a special Diwali Village at Cossington Street Recreation Ground, which is open from 3pm to 9pm.

It features two breath-taking new displays - an interactive light installation called Ocean of Light, and a rangoli-themed dance performance called Colours of Radiance, along with children’s funfair rides and stalls serving traditional Indian food.

Performances of Colours of Radiance take place at 6.50pm, 7.15pm and 8pm.

Other attractions across the two-week festival include a stunning new exhibition at New Walk Museum, a Mela Bazaar and a family day at the Curve Theatre.


Key dates

  • Diwali Wheel of Light: Belgrave Road, Friday, October 14 – Sunday, November 6. Opening times: Mon – Thur 12noon to 8pm. Fri – Sun 12noon to 10pm. Diwali switch on and Diwali Day open till 11pm.
  • Six Thousand Lights: Story of Diwali in Leicester: New Walk Museum, Saturday, October 15 – Sunday, November 27
  • Diwali Switch On: Belgrave Road, and featuring the Diwali Village on Cossington Street Recreation Ground, Sunday, October 16, from 5.30pm to 9pm.
  • Diwali Mela Bazaar: City centre, Saturday, October 22, from 10am to 4pm.
  • Diwali family day: Curve, Saturday, October 22, from 10am to 4pm.
  • Amit and Sumit Kumar: De Montfort Hall, Sunday, October 23, 7pm.
  • Diwali Day: Belgrave Road, and featuring the Diwali Village on Cossington Street Recreation Ground, Sunday, October 30, from 3pm to 9pm.


Cllr Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Once again Leicester is set to celebrate Diwali, and this year’s impressive programme of events means that you don’t even have to be in Belgrave to savour the Festival of Light’s spirit.

“With such a large range of events, as well as the main lights switch-on and Diwali Day celebrations, there will be a chance for everyone across the city to take part in the festivities.”

Full details about all events are available at

Information is also available online at:

The Diwali 2016 guide is also widely available from the Visit Leicester centre in Gallowtree Gate, as well as customer service centres, libraries, shops and cafes.