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Ideas / Album / Diwali
Diwali celebrations in London: information and photos

Diwali is celebrated each year by the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities. It is known as the Festival of Lights, and represents the victory of light (Good) over darkness (Evil). It is in October or November: it is timed to coincide with the new moon (the darkest night of the month), so the date varies from one year to the next. This year's Diwali is on Wednesday 26 October 2011 (the following day is the start of the Hindu New Year).

Send a free Diwali e-card

Diwali (Festivals) (children's book)
Author: Karena Marchant
Publisher: Hodder Wayland
Date: July 1999
Celebrate Diwali
Author: Deborah Heiligman
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Date: January 2007


Diwali on the Square is a free annual celebration of Diwali in London's Trafalgar Square.
It is usually timed to be on a weekend shortly before or after the date of Diwali itself.

In 2011 this event is on Sunday 16 October 2011 (see: from 2pm to 7pm.

The photos below were taken at the event in 2006.

Statues of the Hindu god Ganesh
and the goddess of wealth Lakshmiji

Floating lanterns light up the fountains

The stage is set for Diwali on the Square 2006

Some dancers perform

Tony Patti from Sunshine Radio is a compere ...

... helping to warm up the crowds in Trafalgar Square

There are a few speeches

Some short prayers are said, and religious stories performed

Then balloons are released ...

... to celebrate the start of Diwali

On stage are a variety ...

... of dancing and musical performances

The large screen announces Raghav ...

... the popular final act in 2006

Storyteller (music CD)
Artist: Raghav
Label: V2
Date: September 2004


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden (Neasden Temple, in north-west London) hosts the largest Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations in the country.
The address is: 105-119 Brentfield Road, London NW10 8LD.
Nearest Tube stations are Neasden, Stonebridge Park or Harlesden
Extra bus services to the temple are usually provided from these stations (see:

Wednesday 26 October 2011

(hot snacks available from foodstalls from 5pm)
Chopda Pujan: 6.00pm to 7.15pm
Fireworks Display: 8.45pm to 9.15pm

Thursday 27 October 2011

(hot snacks are available from foodstalls all day)
Annakut Thal in Mandir: 11am to 11:45am
Govardhan Pujan & Annakut Arti in Mandir: 11:45am to 12 noon
Annakut Thal & Arti in Haveli: 12 noon to 12:15pm
New Year's Address: 12:15pm to 12:30pm
Annakut Darshan: 12 noon to 9.00pm
Arti every half-hour from 12:30pm until 9.00pm

The celebrations are open to all.
For security reasons, bags and cameras are not allowed into the Mandir Complex.

For further details visit:

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Fireworks display


The UK's largest Diwali celebrations take place in Leicester in the Midlands
(Leicester became the home of the UK's largest Gujarati community after Idi Amin expelled Asians from Uganda in 1972).
Diwali festivities are centred around Belgrave Road and include dancing, music and fireworks.
There is one ceremony for the switching on of lights in Leicester, and another event centred around Diwali itself.
The main organisers are Leicester City Council and Leicester Hindu Festival Council (LHFC).
Leicester also has the UK's largest Navratri celebrations (Navrati is the Hindu festival of nine nights)
For details, see:

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The National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) guide to Diwali:
BBC guide to Diwali:

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Photos from the Vaisakhi in Southall (a Sikh festival): Ideas/Album/Vaisakhi
Cheap calls from the UK to India and other countries: Life/Telephone/International
Useful links for people from India: Links/India
Religions in the UK: Personal/Religion
Monthly guide to events in the UK: Ideas/Events

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