AN ESTIMATED 20,000 people attended Leicester’s spectacular Diwali lights switch-on, attracting visitors from all over the UK.
The event, on Sunday 9 October, saw a welcome return to the Golden Mile for the Wheel of Light, a Diwali Village and a spectacular aerial firework display, as well as a full stage programme of music, arts and dance.
Leicester’s deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “Our world-famous Diwali festival is a Leicester tradition that brings our communities together to celebrate the Festival of Light.
“I am delighted that the event’s return for 2022 attracted so many people to enjoy the magic of one of the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India.”
This year’s event was supported by the University of Leicester. Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University said: “I was honoured and humbled to switch on the Diwali lights on Leicester’s Golden Mile. It was a spectacular scene as Leicester rejoiced in its rich cultural heritage. I’m proud to be a part of the city and for the University of Leicester to support the festival.”
The switch-on of the 6,000 colourful lamps was followed by a spectacular firework display.
Other events taking place as part of the festival include the Diwali Mela Bazaar on Humberstone Gate on Saturday October 15, which will offer arts, crafts, Indian cuisine and live entertainment, and a special session of Diwali Crafts & Stories at Belgrave Library on 18 October (1pm-4pm).
Belgrave Road will be the focus once again for Leicester’s Diwali Day celebrations on Monday October 24, when the Diwali Village will return to Cossington Street recreation ground from 3pm, along with entertainment on stage from 6pm.
Fireworks will round off the Diwali Day celebrations at around 8.10pm, with an aerial display created and choreographed by local company Bright Spark Fireworks producing layers of spectacular colour and sound, exploding hundreds of feet above the Belgrave Road.
The Wheel of Light, a 110-foot ferris wheel that provides a glittering centrepiece to the festivities, will be on Belgrave Road until Sunday November 6.
A full programme of Diwali events is available at visitleicester.info/diwali