THE FINAL preparations are being made for Leicester’s first ever virtual Diwali Day event, which people will be able to enjoy from the safety of their homes on Saturday (14 November).
The city council and local video production company Image Nova have put together an hour-long programme that combines the important religious elements of the festival with an exciting package of entertainment, featuring local artists and performers.
There will be plenty of tradition, with favourites such as classical Indian dance and sitar music, but there will also be a contemporary twist to this year’s programme.
Nupur Arts have created a contemporary Bollywood dance routine – and there’s an exciting tabla and drum & bass performance from Leicester artist Hari Trivedi.
There will also be story-telling, brought to life with shadow puppets, and a spotlight on the art of Rangoli – while the traditional religious ceremony, and the lighting of the diva lamp, will be led by the Leicester Hindu Festival Council.
And while the city council won’t be organising fireworks this year, footage of the spectacular displays from previous years will bring the virtual event to a dramatic close.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “This year, we all need to find different ways to celebrate important festivals like Diwali and Christmas.
“Although we can’t meet up with our extended families in person this year, and Leicester’s usual celebrations have had to be put on hold, our virtual Diwali event will help bring people together for an experience they can share with a family member or a friend – wherever they are in the world.
“I’d like to thank all our partners and performers who have helped make this virtual celebration a reality, and I’d like to wish everyone a very happy Diwali.”
Artists and performers who contributed to the virtual event – which will be hosted by the BBC’s Kamlesh Purohit – are acknowledged in the running order below:
- Animation: History of Diwali in Leicester
- Welcome and short prayer: Leicester Hindu Festival Council
- Traditional music: Kaviraj Singh Dhadyalla and Roopa Panesar
- Classical dance performance: CICD
- The art of rangoli with the Leicester Belgrave Mela
- Diwali Story Time with Hema Achariya part 1
- Tabla and drum & bass: Hari Trivedi
- 'Be the light', a contemporary film featuring dancer Aakash Odedra and visuals by G Sian
- Music performance: Durgesh Parmar
- Kamal Koria: Diwali Cards
- Dhol drums: Dhol Enforcement Agency
- Diwali Story Time with Hema Achariya part 2
- Bollywood dance: Nupur Arts
- Short film, 'Precious Light', produced by An Indian Summer in association with The Underground Creatives
- Countdown to fireworks and virtual lights switch-on