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Diwali 2019: the best places to celebrate the festival of lights in the UK

Posted by
Stylist Team
Published
10 Oct 2019
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Celebrate Diwali in style with these events across the UK. 

Diwali is one of the highlights of the year’s calendar –  a five-day festival of lights celebrated by millions of people across the world. The festival is a time to reflect and celebrate on a number of themes: joy, love, forgiveness, knowledge, and light. It is often said to represent the victory of good over evil or light over darkness. 

As you’ll know if you’ve ever been lucky enough to attend one, Diwali events are bright, exciting and busy: full not only of glimmering lights but also music, dancing, crafting, community stalls and amazing food. 

The festival is based on the October or November new moon, so takes place at a different time each year. This year’s celebrations will be taking place around 27 October – and here’s our guide to the best Diwali events in London and beyond.

Diwali celebrations, Trafalgar Square – 3 November 2019

This is the biggest Diwali event in London this year. Completely free to attend, over 30,000 people flock to the event every year to watch musical and dance performances and attend workshops – last year, this included a puppet-dancing workshop. 

There’s also a large selection of food stalls – whether you’re looking for something sweet or savoury, meaty or vegan, there’s something for you. Information is also provided to help you find out a bit more about the history of the festival. 

Diwali Lights Switch-On, Leicester - 13 October 2019

Leicester hosts one of the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India, so if you’re local then it’s a great place to celebrate the festival. There are numerous events taking place in the city across a two-week period – starting with this lights switch-on on Sunday October 13. 

There’ll be a traditional dance performance, lots of food and an amazing fireworks display, so plenty to keep you entertained. Just turn up to Belgrave Road, Leicester to be part of the festivities. 

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Diwali Festival, Queensbury Park, Harrow - 13 October 2019

Promising live Bollywood singers and dancers, this celebration in Queensbury Park, Harrow, has plenty more to offer. There’ll be food stalls and other community stalls selling various traditional goods, as well as a funfair and lots of rides for kids. 

Best of all, it’s free.

Find out more here

Dishoom & Dinerama Diwali event – 22 October 2019

London restaurant Dishoom will be teaming up with street food market Dinerama again this year for an amazing culinary celebration of Diwali. A huge range of south-Asian chefs will be serving veggie street food all evening – and yes, that includes Dishoom itself. From steamed buns to ice cream to a delicious sounding Jackfruit Biryana, there’ll be all sorts to try. 

And there’ll be music and spoken word performances, too.

Find out more and book tickets here

Diwali/Bonfire Night Celebrations, Wembley Park - 10 November 2019

At Wembley Park in November, there’ll be a double celebration – Diwali and Bonfire Night in one jam-packed evening. The joint celebration is intended to bring together the diverse communities of the local area. 

This obviously means you can expect an absolutely spectacular fireworks display,  but there will also be the obligatory food stalls, stage performers, roaming performers and much more.

Find out more and book tickets here

Dasherha Diwali Mela, Manchester - 12 October 2019

One of Manchester’s biggest celebrations, this Diwali event has a huge range of dance performers set to take the stage – from classical dance to Bollywood to folk, you’re sure to see something new or indulge in an old favourite. There’ll also be drummers and musical performers on stage, too.

There’s also a range of events during the day – creative workshops, arts and crafts, henna painting, paper craft and more. All of this topped off by a lantern procession and firework show. 

Find out more here

Diwali on the Square, Birmingham – 19 October 2019

Running all day in Birmingham’s Victoria Square, this event has everything you’d expect – singing, dancing, food and more. 

There’ll also be speeches from the Mayor of the West Midlands and the Consul General of India, as well as artists, face painters and more. The event is specifically designed to be family friendly, so you can bring kids along too.

Find out more here

Image: Getty