The event has been organised by the Mayor of London in association with the Diwali in London team, and is presented in partnership with bmi.
The Mayor said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to send my best wishes to all those celebrating the joyous festival of Diwali, which is a wonderful festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains throughout the world. With its universal theme, symbolising the power of good to triumph over evil, it has significance and meaning for all of London’s communities. Diwali on the Square is now well established as an eagerly anticipated annual event in the capital. It is a great family event and all Londoners are welcome to attend.’
Nitin Palan, a spokesperson for the Diwali in London team, said: ‘This is one of the biggest festivals outside India and what is so wonderful about this event is how the community works together to make this event happen – it is for the community by the community.’
Kabir Naidoo, bmi ambassador, said: ‘We are delighted to be involved with this year’s Diwali on the Square. It will be an absolute honour to light up Trafalgar Square and join in the celebrations of this joyous event.’
Guest speakers at the event will include London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi, who will represent the Mayor of London.
Crowds will be entertained by live music performances including Hunterz, chart topping pop star Raghav, who will perform a medley of songs including the reggae / RnB anthem ‘Angel Eyes’, and classical musicians Kalakaar.
The evening will also see a variety of performances by talented Asian community dance groups including young people from Saraswati Dance Academy, the Shamaa Dance group, Sai School of Harrow and the Bombay Dance Club, BAPS Swaminarayan School, ISCKON Mandir, Brahma Kumaris and much more. Contemporary, traditional, and Bollywood themed drama and dance performers in vibrant costumes will fill the stage in the Square.
Diwali is one of the most popular cultural celebrations for London’s Indian and other Asian communities and has religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. The word Diwali or ‘Deepavali’, means a ‘row of lamps’ and the festival is a celebration of the glory of light over darkness, and the dispelling of ignorance by the light of knowledge.
DIWALI ON THE SQUARE – MAIN STAGE PROGRAMME (subject to change)
Comperes for Diwali in London: Bina Mistry and Rani Singh
Sunrise Radio Presenters: Tony Patti and Sonia Dutta
Shaanti Paath – BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir
Saraswati Dance Academy
SAI School of Harrow ,
Hindu Council UK, dance drama based on Ramayan
5pm – 5.25pm
OFFICIAL OPENING & SPEECHES
· Nitin Palan and Ricki Seghal Diwali in London
· Murad Qureshi, Assembly Member Mayor of London
· Deputy High Commissioner Amb Ranjan Mathai India High Commission
· Ramesh Kallidai Hindu Forum
· Anil Bhanot Hindu Council
· Vinu Patel – Swaminarayan BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir
· Jaymini Patel Brahma Kumaris
· Trilochan Sahni Sikh message Central Gurudwara
· Sailesh Shah Oswald Community
· Dilip Lakhani Vivekanand
· Krishna Pujara Sangam
· Gauri Dasji ISKCON
· DIWALI SONG JAY KUMAR
STAGE PROGRAMME CONTINUES
Brahma Kumaris – Song by youth for Diwali
Hindu Council Brent – Dances of India
Shamaa Dance group on behalf of Metropolitan Police Hindu Association
Bombay Dance Club – Melody Mix
Pop music from Hunterz
Brahma Kumaris – Remix of Bollywood
BAPS Swaminarayan School
ISCKON – 2 dance items
Kalakaar classical group
Raghav, headline artist.
Acknowledgements and concluding prayers