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Stunning programme of events for Diwali

Published on Tuesday, October 11, 2016

THIS year’s Diwali celebrations in Leicester are set to be among the best ever thanks to a spectacular two-week programme of festivities and events.

Work is already underway on bringing Belgrave’s Golden Mile alive with the sights and sounds of Diwali, including the arrival of the breathtaking 110-foot Wheel of Light ferris wheel which will operate from October 14 to November 6.

But the two-week long celebrations will also be taking place at other venues across the city. 

Starting on Saturday, October 15, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery will be staging a spectacular exhibition shining a light on the history of Leicester’s Diwali celebrations, from its humble origins in the 1960s.

Entitled 6,000 Lights: The Story of Diwali in Leicester, it brings together personal objects and unique photographs telling the fascinating story of how the city’s festival of light has developed into the world-renowned event it is today. The exhibition runs until Sunday, November 27.

The first weekend of major celebrations gets underway on Sunday, October 16, with events across the city.

The hugely popular Diwali Lights Switch On event takes place on the Golden Mile with a stage programme from 5.30pm.

Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre opens the doors to its Mela Rangoli Exhibition from 5.30pm to 8.30pm on Sunday and 9.30am to 7pm on the Monday.

This year, a special Diwali Village will also take pride of place at Cossington Street Recreation Ground for both the Diwali lights switch-on and Diwali Day, offering children’s funfair rides, food stalls and activities from 3pm to 9pm.

It will host both the glittering Ocean of Light art installation and the Colours of Radiance performance, which uses multi-coloured LED umbrellas to create mesmerising patterns.

The funfair and Ocean of Light will remain on Cossington Street Recreation Ground during the Sunday, and will also be open on Monday afternoon and evening.

Also on the Sunday, Jubilee Square will come alive with the stunning Display of Lights event, from 3pm to 5pm. De Montfort University’s Square Mile project is collaborating with India’s largest dance company, Shiamak, and BBC Radio Leicester, in the series of captivating performances

There will also be a wider programme of smaller events taking place across the city, including creative workshops, temple visits, live performances, fashion shows and exhibitions.

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “This year’s Diwali celebrations include a fantastic two-week programme of events, which will really bring the spirit of Diwali to the city. 

“I’m particularly looking forward to the 6,000 Lights exhibition, telling the story of Leicester’s Diwali celebrations over the decades, as well as the various performances and fringe events taking place across the city centre and beyond.”

Full details of all the events are available at or online 

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.