Diwali on the Square runs from midday until 8pm with music and dance, including classical Bharata Natyam dances, traditional garba folk dancing, a fisherwoman’s dance, a Jain dance and Bhangra. There will be also be dance representing symbols of India, including a peacock dance, a lotus dance, a snake dance and dances commemorating India’s 60 years of independence.
Other attractions will include Sikh martial arts, a sari wearing demonstration, plus a fancy dress parade, and throughout the day there will be a range of stalls, offering tasty vegetarian food, a children’s crafts corner, henna painting, an exhibition on Understanding Diwali, and much more.
The day will culminate with energetic dances and thousands of mini-lamps lit on the square in a recreation of the arrival of Lord Rama, whose liberation of Queen Sita and victory over the evil Ravana heralded the Golden Era of peace and non-violence.
The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: ‘Diwali is an important occasion for London’s Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, and represents the power of good to triumph over evil a theme that has relevance for all of London’s communities, because it signifies the value of co-operation and mutual respect between peoples of differing faiths and backgrounds. On this joyous occasion, I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Diwali.’
Stephen von Speyr of title sponsors Tilda Basmati said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be involved in the Diwali on the Square. We believe it is a perfect fit with our company heritage and values as a family business and are proud to join together with the Mayor of London and the Diwali in London team to bring communities together from all across London for the celebrations. We at Tilda wish everyone a very happy Diwali.’
Organisations taking part in the celebrations include: Academy of Punjabi Heritage, Angel Dance School; Apsara Dancers; B4U; BAPS Swaminarayan School; Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University; Explosive Dhol ‘n Dance, Manchester; Francis Cardoso and Co; Ishira; ISKCON; Oshwal Association of UK; Sai School of Harrow; Sapnay School of Dance; Karma from Imperial College; Shree Kutch Patel Leva Community; Shri Academy of Dance; Sujata Banerjee Kathak School and Sunrise Radio.
The Diwali in London team said: ‘On this occasion of the sixth Diwali on the Square celebrations, we wish everyone a very joyous and happy Diwali, which reminds us of victory over evil and a renewed life filled with health, wealth, happiness and prosperity. Diwali is a celebration of our commitment towards creating a better world to live in and everyone, young and old is welcome to Diwali on the Square, which is an opportunity for London’s Hindu, Sikh, Jain and other communities to come together for the festival of lights and to herald a Golden Age for UK and the world.’
This year’s Diwali on the Square takes place Sunday 28 October 2007 from midday to 8pm and comes at the end of the India Now season, a unique festival that has highlighted the richness of Indian culture. Later this year the Mayor of London will be visiting Delhi and Mumbai to open London offices in both cities, with the aim of increasing the already strong ties between India and London and developing further mutually beneficial links.
Children from north London schools will prepare a Floor Rangoli at Sai School of Harrow which will go on display at City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1, from Monday 22 October to Friday 9 November. Rangoli is an Indian art where homes are decorated in traditional Indian patterns using coloured rice, lentils and other materials.
Event: Diwali on the Square
Date / Time: Sunday 28 October 2007; 12pm to 8pm
Venue: Trafalgar Square, London WC2
Information: 020 7983 4100 / www.london.gov.uk
Entry: FREE – ALL WELCOME