Diwali lights switch-on

Thousands turned out last night in Leicester to see the city's Diwali lights switched on.

Thousands celebrate Diwali lights switch-on in Leicester

The moment the lights were switched on in the Belgrave Road area Credit: ITV News Central

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.

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Bollywood dancers to kick off Diwali lights switch-on

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.

Bollywood dancers will entertain the crowds at the Diwali lights switch-on tonight
Bollywood dancers will entertain the crowds at the Diwali lights switch-on tonight Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS

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.

Licence checks on firework sellers during Diwali event

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.

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Will be checking #firework pop up shops & ensuring all traders have the correct permits with @lcclicensing tonight. #licensing @swann_rachel

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Diwali lights to be switched on in Leicester tonight

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.

Belgrave Road in Leicester during last year's celebrations Credit: ITV News Central

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.