Diwali is a huge festival not just in India but also in other parts of the world. In London which has a strong Indian community, Diwali is celebrated with as much verve and zest as in India. On Sunday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan lit the lamp on stage at Trafalgar Square to kick off the five days of Diwali celebration.
Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains from across London had gathered to celebrate and Trafalgar Square was as festive as it could get. Speaking on stage, Sadiq Khan said, "London is open to all people and all communities – we don't just tolerate each other's' differences, we embrace them. Nowhere is this more apparent than in London's joyous celebration of Diwali in Trafalgar Square."
The Mayor of London also remembered Mahatma Gandhi on this occasion and said, "Every day Londoners live the teachings of Gandhi; in business, medicine, entertainment..."
There was plenty of dancing, meditation sessions, Indian street food and even a garba band playing and entertaining the crowds. Sadiq Khan also joked that he had been practicing his Bollywood dancing for the festival! Referring to the Brexit, Khan made a reference to Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) and said that she would help Great Britain's economy at this time.
What's on for Diwali in London
There are numerous big Diwali bashes being held around London this year like each year. The Diwali Dhamaka is set to take place on October 29, 6 pm onwards at the RCT Hall (Raghuvanshi), RCT Sports Ground, Headstone Lane, Harrow. Along with dinner, there's plenty of games, dancing, fireworks and karaoke.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden will host a Diwali darshan and puja on October 30. Bhaktivedanta Manor will also conduct a grand Diwali celebration with a cultural show and fireworks display. A free meal as Prasad will be served to everyone who comes.