Nearly thirty five thousand people turned out last night to see the official switch-on of the Diwali lights along Leicester's famous Golden Mile. Diwali day itself is still two weeks away, but the celebrations have already started, Rajiv Popat reports.
Thousands turned out last night to see Leicester's Diwali lights switched on, and celebrations begin.
More than 6,500 lights were turned on along the Golden Mile. Leicester's celebrations are organised by the City Council and the Leicester Hindu Festival Council, and are among the biggest outside of India.
Thousands of people have gathered in Leicester for the switch-on of the city's Diwali lights display.
Asian and Bollywood dancers have kicked off the celebrations.
#Belgrave Road is closing at 5.30 for the light switch-on, and opening again at 9.30
Asian and Bollywood dance and music will kick off celebrations tonight ahead of the annual lights switch-on for Diwali in Leicester.
Organisers have set up more than 6,500 lights stretching to a total of over 1,000 metres for the Hindu festival.
The entertainment will begin at 6pm, ahead of the lights coming on at 7.30pm.
Thousands of people are expected to fill the streets around Belgrave Road to see the lights come on.
They will also be able to hear guest speakers including City Mayor Councillor Peter Soulsby, president of the Leicester Hindu Festival Council Mr Maganbhai Patel, and chairman of the Diwali Working Party, Councillor Piara Singh Clair.
Police in Leicester have warned they will be carrying out licence checks on anyone selling fireworks in a crackdown on cowboy traders ahead of tonight's Diwali lights switch-on.
Leicester’s Belgrave Road will be transformed with almost 1,000 metres of lights this evening as the Golden Mile lights are switched on to mark the start of Diwali.
The five-day festival, popularly known as the ‘festival of lights’, gets underway today with the switch-on event taking place at 6pm and the lights being turned on officially at 7.30pm.
Leicester Hindu Festival Council are organising live performances of classical Asian and Bollywood dance and music.