Nottingham will host a celebration of the Diwali festival this weekend, with several local organisations getting involved.

The traditional Hindu festival of light began on Wednesday, but Nottingham will hold its own ceremony over the free-of-charge two day event.

Held at Highfields Park, the event is run by the Asian Arts sector of Nottingham City Council. At the head of that is Hindu Bhavesh Jani.

Bhavesh said: “Celebrations of the festival in Nottingham have been going for about 40 or 50 years. As a council we’ve been running this particular event for about 13 years, it gets bigger and there’s more getting involved every year.”

Worship in the temples will be the focus of many Hindus over much of the traditional five day Diwali. The council run two-day festival however, will focus predominantly on the arty side of Indian culture to make the celebration more relevant to the wider community.

 “It’s very important to the community here. We are very lucky in Nottingham that we have such a wide and diverse community and we get people from all cultures attending.”

Bhavesh Jani, Nottingham City Council

“There’s been 22 schools participating for the past 4 weeks in preparation. Several of them will be taking part in the parade.”

The council is expecting around 2000-5000 to visit Highlands Park over the weekend, weather dependant.

Saturday’s event starts at 3pm and finishes at 8pm, with the Parade of Light taking place at 5pm. The parade will be led by Dhol Drummers and featuring local school children, families, and community groups with lanterns.

With thousands expected to flood to the Diwali festival, Nottinghamshire Police have released a statement urging people to keep their jewellery safe.

Nottinghamshire Police Community Cohesion Inspector Gurmit Kaur said: “The festival of Diwali is a time for celebration. We want to keep it that way.

“We do not want you to stop wearing your jewellery but please try to be discreet in public places, where there are a lot of people around.”

diwali3
Festival of Lights really lives up to its name.