Diwali is finally here. As celebrations for the festival of light begin, Indians both within the country and outside have taken it upon themselves to do the festival the right way.
The United Kingdom boasts a sizeable Indian community, especially in London. After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are eager to get out on the streets and celebrate the festival. To that end, several parts of the capital city have been lit up. In fact, there’s even a committee that has organised itself to ensure the festivities go off smoothly.
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The Diwali in London Committee has collaborated with the Mayor of London’s office and organised an event earlier this month to ensure Diwali celebrations brought in Indians from across the country.
The events at Trafalgar Square include festive food stalls, cultural events, dance events and community gatherings, all in the name of celebrating the event.
There were also activities at the Neasden Temple Diwali Experience, plays at the Soho Theatre, dance workshops and even henna painting.
Indian sweet shops in London have taken to the festivities with great enthusiasm in preparation for the throngs of people who are likely to visit. Even the famous Mumbai Local restaurant chains, with locations in Wembley, Harrow, Queensbury and Rayners Lane have put up light and flower decorations.
On Ealing Road, also known as the Little India street, sellers have put up clay lamps (diyas) for people to buy and decorate their homes with. For those out of the loop, diyas are kept both inside and outside the home and light up to signify the inner light that protects from darkness.
Not to be left out, candle lighting ceremonies and Diwali celebrations were also held in the Speaker’s House in the House of Parliament complex.