Children’s parade to kick off the Mayor’s Diwali celebrations in Trafalgar Square
Schoolchildren will lead a parade on Sunday 12 October to launch the Mayor of London’s Diwali Festival in Trafalgar Square.
Leaving from Hungerford Bridge on the Southbank, the children’s parade will be a colourful procession promoting a message of hope and happiness on its way to the square.
Londoners from all communities, as well as visitors to the capital, are invited to attend the free celebration, which features a colourful line-up of music and dance, delicious food and drink, plus activities for children to enjoy.
The annual event is being organised to mark the ‘Festival of Lights’, which is observed in India and many other countries around the world by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. It is being staged by the Mayor of London in association with the Diwali in London committee, with support from headline sponsor Lebara, tourism partner the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh and media partner Zee TV.
An entertaining afternoon of family fun will kick off with traditional Garba dancing in the middle of the square, offering everyone the chance to join in. On the Main Stage a variety of live acts will perform, ranging from professional performers to local community musicians and dancers. There will also be a fashion show of Indian inspired clothing coordinated by Asian Bride Magazine. Children can take part in a range of activities that will teach them about the history of Diwali and India’s links to World War I.
Revellers will be able to have an Ayurvedic massage, try on a free sari, get a new henna tattoo, find out about Uttar Pradesh, learn top health tips, or simply enjoy this year’s illuminating light display. Throughout the day a range of stalls will sell a variety of tasty vegetarian food and non-alcoholic drinks, while shoppers can check out the Fashion Emporium and Diwali Street Bazaar.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘London owes a great deal of its success to the many and varied communities that add to the dynamism and spirit of life in the city, reflected in celebrations like our Diwali festival. It promotes powerful messages of peace and mutual respect that should resonate with Londoners, as well as holding huge significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. I wish everyone celebrating in London and beyond a happy and prosperousDiwali.’
Event: Diwali Festival
Date: Sunday 12 October 2014
Times: 2pm – 8pm
(The Children’s Parade leaves at 12:30pm before arriving at Trafalgar Square at 1:30pm)
Entry: FREE – ALL WELCOME
Programme (subject to change):
2pm Traditional Garba dancing, with live music, in the centre of Trafalgar Square, open to all.
Opening ceremony with Diwali messages and speeches
Live music and performance.
Professional and community performers on Main Stage.
Closing ceremony with religious hymns and musical Aarti provided AOL,
Art Of Living.