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Brighten up your life at Auckland Diwali Festival


Barfoot and Thompson Fireworks Finale at Auckland Diwali Festival

Media release

28 August 2014

Brighten up your life at Auckland Diwali Festival

Aucklanders can look forward to an enlightening experience at this year’s Auckland Diwali Festival on 11–12 October as the event known as the ‘festival of lights’ delves deep into the sights, sounds, tastes and traditions of India.

Festival-goers will have the chance to tantalise their taste buds with new flavours from the fully vegetarian menu, witness an even greater range of contemporary and traditional Indian performance and learn more about India’s fascinating culture through an expanded range of workshops, seminars and activities.

The event runs from midday to 9pm in Aotea Square, Aotea Centre and on Queen Street in central Auckland, and is organised by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says Auckland Diwali Festival showcases a unique blend of ancient Indian and New Zealand Indian culture.

“Auckland is shaped by its people, its heritage and traditions. Diwali Festival gives our large and vibrant Indian community an opportunity to come together and share this much-loved cultural tradition with all Aucklanders in a truly joyful occasion that the whole family will love.”

New elements to the festival are still to be revealed but regular highlights include stunning onstage and street performances from over 100 national and international groups, 50 food and craft stalls, the Radio Tarana Bollywood Dance competition and the Barfoot & Thompson Fireworks Finale on Sunday night.

Asia New Zealand Foundation Chairman Phillip Burdon says Diwali or Deepavali (literally ‘row of lamps’) is an important and ancient Hindu festival that has been embraced by other faiths.

“The festival was celebrated privately in New Zealand homes for decades – with families lighting small oil lamps and candles around their homes to signify the triumph of light over darkness – before the Asia New Zealand Foundation initiated the first major public celebration in 2002 in partnership with Auckland Council.

“Since then the festival has grown in size and diversity, thanks to the contributions of Auckland’s Indian community which numbered more than 106,000 people at the time of the 2013 census.”

Check out aucklandnz.com/diwali for more details.

The sponsors and supporters of Auckland Diwali Festival are Air New Zealand, Barfoot & Thompson, Fairfax Media, iHeart Radio, Indian Weekender, India Tourism, Mithai, Radio Tarana, AIA New Zealand, Love NZ and The Better Drinks Company.

Ends

Notes to editors: The Auckland Diwali Festival was delivered by Auckland Council from 2002 until 2011. It is now delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development in partnership with Asia New Zealand Foundation.

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