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Getting the most out of the Auckland Diwali Festival


6 October 2016

Tips for the 2016 Auckland Diwali Festival

Join in Auckland’s largest celebration of contemporary and traditional Indian culture, when the 2016 Auckland Diwali Festival shines in the heart of the city on Saturday, 15 and Sunday, 16 October.

From midday to 9pm each day, the best of Indian music, dance, theatre, art, craft and street food is on show in Aotea Square and Queen St. The festival wraps up with a bang with the Barfoot & Thompson Fireworks Finale at 9pm on Sunday.

The extensive entertainment programme includes performances by Assamese film star and dancer Meghranjani; a Rajasthani puppet troupe; hundreds of local performers of all ages; DJs; and classical musicians.

Auckland organisations are embracing the festival, with musicians from Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra working with Auckland’s foremost classical Indian musicians to present a cross-cultural collaboration, while staff cultural groups from the NZ Police and ASB will be dancing on the main stage.

The Auckland Diwali Festival team have put together a few tips for making the most out of the festival.

For first-time festival goers:

• Grab some food when you arrive, before the food stalls get super busy; check out the entertainment on the main stage; then head to the craft stalls

• Try the delicious street food on offer – try the savoury dahi puri, pani puri or aloo tikki; or the sweet treats of jalebi or gulab jamun

• Come for lunch, and find a spot on the grass to eat, while you watch the performances

• Get a temporary henna tattoo

• Crowds tends to be their biggest from 6.30pm onwards at the food stalls and 7.30-9pm in front of the main stage

• Agree on a meeting point should you get separated – like the Waharoa – the carved Māori entranceway in Aotea Square

• You can pick up a programme and map at the festival – or download all the details on the Auckland Events Guide app

For regular festival-goers:

• Bring some friends who have never been before

• Be their festival tour guide, show them round the festival and introduce them to new foods – teach them how to eat with just their fingers

• Tell them the differences between Bollywood and traditional dance performances

• Become part of the festival – do a Facebook livestream or Periscope video – what’s your ‘Diwali message’ to the world?

For kids:

• Watch the Rajasthani puppeteers – colourful, lively and laugh-out-loud-funny shows

• Paint a heart in your favourite Resene Diwali colour to take home with you

• Have fun at Barfoot & Thompson Kids’ Zone, where you can see the puppet shows, Pixar short films on the big screen and lots more

• Watch performers on the main stage, including dancers of all ages in the Radio Tarana Bollywood Dance competition

For parents:

• Write your mobile phone number on your child’s arm or hand, just in case you get separated

• Snap a photo of your child in the day’s outfit when you arrive

• Agree on a meeting place if family members get separated

• The Lost Kids tent is at the base of the Auckland Town Hall clock tower

For being social:

• #AKLdiwali on Twitter and Instagram

• Follow What’s On in Auckland on Facebook for event updates

• Download the Auckland Events Guide app so you have the festival map, programme and notifications right at hand, as well as following to event feed to see what other festival goers are saying and posting about #AKL Diwali

The Auckland Diwali Festival is presented by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council and in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The 2016 Auckland Diwali Festival programme is available on aucklandnz.com/diwali, and will also be available on the new Auckland Events Guide app.

The international artists appearing at the festival travel to New Zealand with the support of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Indian High Commission.

The sponsors and supporters of Auckland Diwali Festival are Barfoot & Thompson, ASB, Air New Zealand, Indian Tourism Sydney (Incredible India), Mithai, Radio Tarana, More FM, Indian Weekender, Stuff.co.nz, The Better Drinks Company, Resene, Mahindra New Zealand, Vodafone, Platform 4 Group and Education New Zealand.

About us: Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) is the economic growth agency for the Auckland region and is one of six Auckland Council-controlled organisations (CCOs). ATEED is tasked with driving innovation and transforming the local economy, so that Auckland is a desirable place to visit, live, work, play, invest and do business.

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