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Celebrate Diwali - Festival of Lights this weekend

19 October 2005

Celebrate Diwali - Festival of Lights this weekend!

This weekend will see the Wellington Town Hall, Capital E and Civic Square turned into an exciting zone of music, dance, and culinary delights in celebration of Diwali.

Kicking off the Festival on Saturday night is the Radio Tarana Bollywood Competition at the Town Hall at 7pm. “The Bollywood Competition is so popular it is almost sold out,” says Wellington City Council Festival producer Sonal Patel. “But the public will still have a chance to see all the performers for free on Sunday with the finalists announced later in the day.”

Also on Sunday, two performance stages in the Town Hall and Civic Square kick off at 3pm with an exciting programme including performances from international Rajastani dancers, Jarrod Wood (bansuri flute), local Indian community groups, the Mudra Dance Company, Hindi groups from Wellington schools, the Natraj School of Dance and much more.

The music continues in Civic Square with the contemporary Indian band SCAG and the closing celebrations end with a fireworks display at 10pm. The fun family entertainment includes Indian food and craft stalls, story telling and puppet shows for children at Capital E, art and design exhibitions in the Council Chamber Foyer and at the City Gallery.

“Diwali is a magnificent feast for the eyes, ears and taste buds!” says Ms Patel. “The Indian community celebrate in style and this is a chance for all Wellingtonians to get involved in the festivities.”

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend each day and festival organisers are encouraging people to leave their cars at home and use public transport. This is the fourth Diwali Festival of Lights produced by Wellington City Council and Asia New Zealand Foundation.

About Diwali
Diwali, also know as Deepavali (literally a "row of lamps"), is perhaps the most important and ancient of the Indian festivals. It is celebrated throughout India as well as in Indian communities around the world. It is colloquially known as "The Festival of Lights" - the time when families light small oil lamps (known as diyas) and candles around the home and set off firecrackers and fireworks. The traditional lighting of the lamps expresses happiness and welcomes light and prosperity.


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