Festival lights up the city centre

Diwali celebrations on Cathedral Square. EMN-151031-222813009

Diwali celebrations on Cathedral Square. EMN-151031-222813009

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The festival of lights shone through Peterborough as thousands of people celebrated Diwali in the city centre.

Colourful displays of music and dancing were the highlight on Saturday, as the third festival in the city centre was held.

This year even Peteborough’s Zombie Walkers got in on the act, taking part in a specially choreographed Indian dance at the end of the night.

Ratilal Joshi, chairman of the Peterborough Diwali organising committee said this year’s had been the biggest and best ever.

He said: “This is the third year we have held this in Peterborough, and the number of people who are attending is getting bigger and bigger every year.

“When we first held the event in 2013, there were about 1,500 people who came to watch. This year we had about 4,000 coming along.

“There were people of different cultures in the crowd, and it is growing every year.

“We had about 15 performances on the day, representing culture from across India.

“We were also joined by the zombie walkers (see page 49), who were in the city for Halloween, and talk part in a special dance. It was fantastic to see cultures coming together like that.”

“We also had the Mayor, Cllr John Peach, open the festival, and he was joined by two MPs, Shailesh Vara and Stewart Jackson.

“We also had a Diwali light given to us by Peterborough City Council for the first time. It was presented by the council leader, Cllr John Holdich.

“We are still recovering from this year’s event, but will have a feedback meeting this week, and then start planning for the 2016 event in January.”

Traditionally, Diwali, a Hindi festival, is the time of the year when people light candles and clay lamps. Houses are decorated and sweets and presents are exchanged.