Diwali Celebrations In Leicester

One of the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India is taking place in Leicester tonight. Here you will find Diwali facts and information on times and places.

Latest ITV News reports

Diwali celebrations begin in Leicester

Celebrations in Belgrave Road
Celebrations in Belgrave Road Credit: ITV Central
The Golden Mile in Leicester
The Golden Mile in Leicester Credit: ITV Central
Celebrations on the Belgrave Road
Celebrations on the Belgrave Road Credit: ITV Central
Diwali in Leicester
Diwali in Leicester Credit: ITV Central

Celebrations are underway in Leicester tonight for the Diwali "Festival of Light".

Thousands of people are expected to attend the celebrations tonight on the Belgrave Road.

Leicester prepares for the Festival of Light

The Midlands is gearing up for one of it's biggest celebrations of the year. It's Diwali, and tens of thousands of people are heading into Leicester tonight for what's widely regarded as the largest celebration outside of India.

It's not only an important time for families, it's also vital for the economy. Leicester's Golden Mile has suffered in recent years, and Diwali is the busiest time of year for many shops and businesses.

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Tweets for Diwali celebrations in Leicester

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Diwali is good for business in Leicester

Thousands of people in the Midlands will take to the streets tonight to celebrate Diwali with some local businesses calling it the most important financial period of their year.

Leicester's Golden Mile is hosting the biggest Diwali celebrations in the world outside of India.

Companies say that in these tough economic times the festival is critical for their businesses.

Dharmesh Lakhani from the Belgrave Business Association says "it's more vital that we do good business throughout Diwali, so that we'll be fine for the next year."

Diwali celebrated in Leicester temple

Girls creating rangoli also known as Kolam which is a folk art from India Credit: ITV Central

The Diwali celebrations taking place in Leicester are the biggest in the world outside of India.

These pictures show women at a Hindu Temple in Leicester. They are creating rangoli which is Indian folk art, as part of the celebrations.

Candles are lit during Diwali in celebration and good fortune Credit: ITV Central
Inside the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Leicester Credit: ITV Central
A murti (statue) of Lord Rama, Sita and Hanuman at BAPS Shri Credit: ITV Central

Facts about Diwali 'the festival of light'

Today is Diwali, also known as the festival of light is a religious festival at the end of October or beginning of November.

It is celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus and Jains, and is as big to those religions as Christmas is to Christians.

Facts about Diwali:

  • Diwali translated means 'row of lights'.
  • Diwali celebrates good triumphing over evil.
  • For many it is the mark of a new year.
  • Many Hindus take the opportunity of Diwali to honour the goddess of wealth Lakshmi.
  • People mark the religious festival by lighting clay lamps, it is believed the more lamps people light the more likely the goddess of fortune and prosperity, Lakshmi will visit.
  • Leicester hosts the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India.
  • Many people draw colourful rangoli, a decorative pattern made in rice flour, at the entrance of the home.
  • Celebrations include sharing food, watching fireworks, worshiping and rangoli also known as Kolam which is a folk art from India.
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