British Asia News Network
Leicester: Families came out on to the Golden Mile at Leicester, to celebrate Diwali with all pomp and cheer.
Leicester's Diwali celebrations are claimed by many to be the best outside of India and is therefore well attended by locals as well as people from across the UK. The event was put together by Leicester Hindu Festival Council (LHFC), the Curve, the Diwali Advisory Panel, local ward councillors and All Youth Council.
Fireworks lit up the sky as there were dance performances happening on the stage.
People also stepped into the nearby restaurants to get some delicious food.
The entire road was lined with lights.
Scintillating dance performances had most of the audiences swaying to the beats too.
The song Shakalaka Baby from the movie Bombay Dreams was performed to. Sung by Shobna Gulita and choreographed by Leicester's famous Akash Odedra and Melanie Knot. There were even live dhol (a large drum) players at the event.
Devadan Sharma was selected by the Leicester City Council through youth selection process to switch on the lights, amongst all the youth in Leicester.
Little children were also very excited to be a part of the celebrations.
Shops that line the street were all lit up in keeping with the spirit of the Festival of Lights.
Dhirubhai Dholakia - Vice President of the Leicester Hindu Festival Council (LHFC) Ramanbhai C Barber (MBE) the Assistant Secretary, Maganbhai D. Patel the Assistant Treasurer of LHFC and Narangbhai G. Patel Internal Auditor were all on stage for the event.
Maganbhai P Patel, President of the LHFC, said, "Namaskar. Greetings of the season to everyone. Everybody knows Diwali festival ceremony has been going on for the last, more than 30 years. Still going on. But to do all this hard work, I thank the Leicester City Council, Diwali working party, Mr. Dawson, and also Deputy City Mayor of Leicester Piara Singh Clair. Bhaiyon aur beheno - brothers and sisters, this occasion is not only for certain religion, but to every religion."
Mr. Maganbhai P. Patel went on to say, "As you can see Leicester is a multicultural city and we all enjoy without any problem. But to control the crowd, the police department, the health and safety department, the security, fire brigade and special services have all worked hard behind the scenes. And we must thank on behalf of Leicester Hindu Festival Council - A very big thanks. Happy Diwali and God bless. Namaskar."
There was a huge screen to project the events on stage so that audiences at the far back of the crowd were also able to see what was going on.
Sanjana from Cardiff, who is also a member of the council, said that she had all the way from Cardiff for the Diwali event, "Because it's an amazing event and people from all over England and Wales come to see this." She also said she was enjoying the show very much and was looking forward to going on the Ferris wheel with her nieces and nephews.
Brijesh a resident of Leicester, who was also at the event, said, "I come to see the lights and to enjoy the show."
Mr. Keith Vaz MP of Leicester East in his tribute to Late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, said, "The devastating tragedy of last night will be seared into our minds and will live with us forever. No match of Leicester City will ever be the same again. Our prayers, this Diwali, are for him and his family as they face this unimaginable grief. They have our prayers and our thoughts. " Late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was the owner of Premier League football club Leicester City. The founder, owner and chairman of King Power Duty Free, died yesterday when the helicopter he was aboard met with an accident shortly after takeoff from the King Power Stadium.
Diwali or as it is traditionally known as Deepawali is primarily a festival of lights and is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu religion. The story goes, that Lord Rama returned to his Kingdom, of Ayodhya on this very day, after defeating the evil King Ravana and rescuing his wife Goddess Sita.
Celebrated ever since, the festival is celebrated over five days in India. During one of the five days, people of the Hindu religion worship Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth). The day after Diwali is the beginning of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar. This year Diwali falls on the 7th of November with the worship of Goddess Lakshmi scheduled for the 6th and the Hindu New Year begins on the 8th.
The British Asia team wish all our readers a very Happy and Blessed Diwali.