Thousands of people are expected to take part in Edinburgh’s biggest ever celebration for Diwali on Sunday.
The colourful and vibrant ‘Festival of Lights’ – which symbolises victory of light over darkness and good over evil – is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains all over the world.
Edinburgh’s Diwali will be a free celebration of live music and dancing at the Ross Theatre in West Princes Street Gardens.
It will be headlined by six-time number one artist in the Asian Charts and Houses of Parliament ‘Entertainer of the Year’, British Bollywood singer Navin Kundra. The dazzling set will culminate in a 20-minute display of fireworks, over 2,500 sparklers and 300 handcrafted lanterns lighting up the night sky at 7pm.
Beforehand, a Diwali parade will perform through the streets of the city centre, featuring hundreds of lanterns and traditional decorated floats of Gods, from Ganesh (the Elephant God) and Hanuman (the Monkey God) to Shiva.
The parade will step off from the City Chambers and head to Castle Street before making its way to West Princes Street Gardens. Led by hundreds of local school children and Pipers from the Royal Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, the result will be a lively lantern-lit cavalcade featuring multicultural performances from Indian, Highland, Salsa and South African dance acts.
The city’s Lord Provost Frank Ross is the Edinburgh event’s patron. He said: “Diwali is a dazzling festival of lights, live music and dancing and symbolises the victory of good over evil. I am delighted that we have been able to support this event through the OneCity Trust and expand it into Edinburgh’s biggest and most multi-cultural Diwali celebration yet. Discover Diwali for yourself and join us this Sunday for the parade, Ross Theatre celebrations and fireworks – which together will transform a dark Autumn evening in Edinburgh into a bright carnival of lights.”
Edinburgh’s Diwali Festival organiser, Mr Mohindra Dhall MBE, added: “Edinburgh’s Diwali is fast becoming a great success and the city’s autumn festival. It gives me great pleasure to bring together leaders and people of all faiths, races, ages and communities to celebrate the joy of Diwali. Uniting the people of Edinburgh and Scotland in Princes Street Gardens, Diwali is an important festival for multiculturalism but it is also a free feast for the eyes! With lively music and dancing, fantastic food, vivid Indian floor art and fireworks, it’s going to be spectacular.”