LONDON: London Mayor Sadiq Khan organised the annual Diwali celebration at Trafalgar Square on Sunday.
The free public event held, from 1 pm to 7 pm (local time), featured Indian traditional dances, music, activities and food from various parts of India that captured the festival’s spirit.
Attendees enjoyed performances by London’s Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities, yoga workshops, puppet shows and more. Sadiq Khan hailed the event as embodying Diwali’s symbolic victory of light over darkness.
The landmark Diwali celebrations drew residents not only from London, but also people and visitors of all backgrounds from various parts of the UK.
A local resident named James, who is a teacher, celebrated Diwali for the first time and called the experience “absolutely incredible”. He called Diwali an amazing festival.
“Its my first time at Diwali. Absolutely incredible experience. Everyone in London here has come together to celebrate this amazing festival. I love the dancing, but also the reenactments of the story of Ram and Sita, which I think teach us all from every background, every place, teach us something very important and very special. So, really beautiful to experience this together as one global community”, James said.
Artists performed dance on folk songs and Bollywood songs like ‘Jai Ho’ and ‘Jo Hai Albela’. People who attended the Diwali celebration also enjoyed Indian food.
An Indian-origin girl said, “This is the first time I am experiencing Diwali outside of India. So, it feels great and it feels like home away from home. And it is a very great experience to have here. And we are enjoying all of us getting to meet new people. And also I was craving Indian food and I finally got to eat here. And the festive atmosphere is like the perfect beginning for Diwali. So, yeah, this is very a good time”.
An Indian-origin boy, who attended the Diwali celebration at Trafalgar Square, said, “The Londoners who are not Indians, who are not Indian, it’s lovely to see them celebrate what we consider like best festival of light for us. So it’s been, like, amazing. I love the enthusiasm. Not just ours, but theirs as well. And we got to see the mayor speaking. He was an amazing guy”.
A local resident named Vivian, who attended the Diwali celebration, said, “This is my first time here. This is my first Diwali at Trafalgar Square. I really enjoyed it. I love to dance and I came with my friend and we danced all the time. It (Diwali) is the festival of lights. The atmosphere here is wonderful and people are very friendly…”
This year, Diwali will be celebrated on Sunday, November 12. (ANI)