Diwali celebration lights up Peterborough city centre
A colourful festival of music and dance lit up Peterborough city centre as hundreds came out to celebrate Diwali.
The annual Diwali celebrations were held in Cathedral Square on Saturday, with a large crowd braving the cold weather to join in the event.
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, and is celebrated in the autumn during a dark new moon night, with light being a metaphor for God, truth and knowledge.
There was a range of energetic and colourful performances from the Gujarati, Tamal, Telugu, Kannada, Nepali and Bengali communities. These included a wide range of classical dance and song throughout the morning and evening.
A number of civic and religious leaders from a variety of different faiths lit candles and lanterns, while to commemorate 900 years of Peterborough Cathedral, the Peterborough Diwali Festival Committee distributed 900 battery operated multicoloured tea lights to visitors.
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “It was a real pleasure to be lighting the traditional Diwali lamp in Peterborough to mark the triumph of good over evil. As in previous years those attending, and there were many of them, were not disappointed.
“The various acts were a joy to see and the talent of the performers is a credit to Peterborough.
“As always, a huge well done to all the organisers for their hard work to ensure the success of this ever popular annual event.”
Ranji Reddy, secretary of The Peterborough Diwali Festival Committee said the event had been a great success, and added: “The event this year was a gala celebration with classical and Bollywood dances, food stalls , shopping and where visitors could also try on a saree and get photographed.
We had many dignitaries who attended the inauguration.”
Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet advisor to the leader for Peterborough City Council, said: “As the evenings continue to draw in, the festival of Diwali offers a powerful reminder of the role of light in combating all forms of darkness.
“The Diwali festival is one of a number of community and faith festivals taking place in the city each year which we support. Each is a great opportunity for our many communities to come together in celebration and learn about each other’s cultures and traditions.”
The organising committee also thanked Serpentine Green for their support.