The Auckland Diwali Festival is one of the city’s most colourful cultural festivals, celebrating traditional and contemporary Indian culture in New Zealand’s largest city. From Rangoli competitions to Indian dance performances, this family-friendly festival is being held for all age-groups to indulge Diwali festivities.
On Friday, 19 October, locals and tourists can experience the ‘Chalk It Up’ rangoli-drawing competition in Freyberg Place and Diwali-themed activities in Ellen Melville Centre. Visitors can have a go at DIY henna (mehendi), learn how to drape a saree, create rangoli patterns to take home and play interactive digital Hindi language games. There will also be different Indian snacks to sample – sweet mithai treats and savoury namkeen nibbles.
The festival will officially kick off on Saturday, 20 October with a mix of performances, from Bollywood to Punjabi, Gujarati to Bharat Natyam, Rajasthani to Hindustani and more, across three areas of the city centre – the Aotea Square Stage, the Queen St Stage and corner of Queen and Wakefield.
Before and during the festival, Vector Lights will bring a light show inspired by the traditional art form of rangoli to Auckland Harbour Bridge from Thursday, 18 October to Sunday, 21 October. This is a part of the smart energy partnership between the New Zealand based energy company, Vector, and the Auckland Council.
Leilana Meredith, Festival Producer said, “It’s exciting to have Vector Lights bringing a new facet to the festival for 2018, with the light show on Auckland Harbour Bridge taking its cue from the beautiful colours and designs of rangoli.”
Auckland Diwali Festival is one of the region’s most popular cultural festivals with 55,000 people attending the event last year. Performers from Kalehri Art & Culture Academy in India will present entertainment in a wide range of styles including bhangra, gidha, jindua, malwai and jhumar. The festival beautifully essays out 45 hours of live entertainment across more than 240 local and international performances.
The Auckland Diwali festival is vastly celebrated with enthusiasm and love amongst family, friends and relatives. Families light lamps, candles and fireworks to symbolise the triumph of light over darkness, wisdom over ignorance and good over evil.