Di­wali to take over CBD

East and Bays Courier - - OUT & ABOUT - ADAM JA­COB­SON

The sights, smells and sounds of In­dian cul­ture will en­velop Auck­land’s CBD for one of the coun­tries largest cul­tural fes­ti­vals next month

For its 16th year run­ning, the Di­wali Fes­ti­val will re­turn to Aotea Square and Queen St from Oc­to­ber 14 and 15.

The an­nual free, fam­ily friendly fes­ti­val will fea­ture 800 lo­cal per­form­ers cel­e­brat­ing In­dian cul­ture, fea­tur­ing dance and mu­sic, food, fash­ion, arts and crafts, streetthe­atre and a fire­works dis­play.

Reg­u­lar fes­ti­val favourites in­clud­ing Bhangra Auck­land Da and Rau­nak Pun­jab Dee will pre­form.

Renowned Ka­lika Kala Ken­dra dancers group will show­case cen­turies-old ro­man­tic folk dance style known as ‘la­vani’ – a com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional song and dance per­formed.

Di­wali, also known as the Fes­ti­val of Lights, is an im­por­tant and an­cient In­dian fes­ti­val which sym­bol­ised the tri­umph of light over dark­ness, wis­dom over ig­no­rance and good over evil.

The first Di­wali Fes­ti­val was first held in 2002, ini­tially set up to raise pub­lic aware­ness of tra­di­tional In­dian cul­ture.

Auck­land Tourism, Events and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment’s head of ma­jor events Char­maine Ngarimu said the fes­ti­val was an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate and con­nect with lo­cal In­dian com­mu­ni­ties.

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