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Calling performers and stallholders for the Diwali Festival

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Calling performers and stallholders for the 2017 Auckland Diwali Festival

aucklandnz.com/diwali


Do you make an incomparable dahi puri? Gulab jamun that people will travel across town for? Or are you part of a dance group able to help showcase Indian performance styles, from a brilliant Bharatanatyan, an awesome Odissi to a magnificent Manipuri and more?

Applications are now open for stallholders and performers for the 2017 Auckland Diwali Festival, which takes place on Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 October in Aotea Square and Queen St.

The annual festival brings together Aucklanders and visitors of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to celebrate and experience traditional and contemporary Indian culture in its many exciting forms.

Auckland Diwali Festival features live music and dance performances by local and international performers, a broad range of Indian foods and sweets, street theatre and workshops, and wraps up with a dazzling fireworks display.

The festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council, in partnership with Asia New Zealand Foundation.

ATEED Head of Major Events, Charmaine Ngarimu, says: “The Auckland Diwali Festival is one of the major cultural festivals in our region, with Aucklanders of all backgrounds embracing its joyful atmosphere, bright colours and wonderful vegetarian tastes.

“It also provides the chance to see the wonderful local dance and musical talent we have here in Auckland, as well as catch some stunning international performers.”

Groups and performers who would like to be considered for stage performances, street performances and the Radio Tarana Bollywood dance competition at the 2017 Auckland Diwali Festival need to apply by 31 July 2017.

The event is also the largest vegetarian festival in the country. Auckland Diwali Festival stall sites are available for vegetarian food, sweets, craft, and henna vendors, or to promote community organisations and businesses. The deadline for stallholder applications is 10 July 2017.

Further information, online application forms and dance competition judging criteria can be found on www.aucklandnz.com/diwali or by emailing the Auckland Diwali Festival team at www.diwali@aucklandnz.com.


NOTES TO EDITOR

• The Auckland festival is inspired by Diwali or Deepavali (row of lamps), an important and ancient Indian festival colloquially known as The Festival of Lights. It is celebrated by people in India and Indians living abroad. Families light lamps, candles and fireworks to symbolise the triumph of light over darkness, wisdom over ignorance and good over evil.

• Originally a Hindu festival, Diwali is also celebrated by non-Hindus. It's an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

• Diwali signifies different things in different areas of India. For example, in Gujarat, the festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In north India, it celebrates the god Rama’s homecoming to the kingdom of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile. To light his way and rejoice at his return, the people of Ayodhya illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas and fireworks.

• The Auckland Diwali Festival was first held in 2002, initiated by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and delivered in partnership with the then-Auckland City Council (now Auckland Council). It was set up to raise public awareness of traditional Indian culture, and acknowledge the contribution made by the country’s Indian communities during their long history in New Zealand.

• The religious festival’s annual dates are decided by the lunar calendar. The Auckland Diwali Festival is timed to coincide with both the observance of Diwali and the Wellington Diwali Festival, with which it shares its partner, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and visiting international performers.


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