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5 light-filled feasts and festivals to celebrate Diwali in London

Written by
Alexandra Sims

Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated every year in the Hindu calendar. Here are some of the dazzling, luminous celebrations to look out for in London. 


Dishoom x Dinerama Diwali 

As ever with Dishoom’s annual Diwali bash, visitors are in for a treat. Eat special street food-style Dishoom dishes while listening to live music from sarod player Soumik Datta, spoken word from Jaspreet Kaur and a soundtrack from DJ Ryan Lanji. Dinerama. Shoreditch High St Overground. Tue Oct 22. £8. 

Diwali: Festival of Light

The National Maritime Museum is switching up the nautical theme for a big, bright Diwali party with lantern-making sessions, a rangoli pattern art workshop and storytelling. Finish the day with a light parade to Greenwich Park. National Maritime Museum. Maze Hill rail. Sat Oct 26. Free.

Diwali and Hindu New Year Celebration

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, The North Circular’s answer to the Taj Mahal, is an astounding sight at anytime year, but in October it’s even more beautiful as it hosts the largest Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations in the country. See the twinkling main hall filled with flickering oil lamps called ‘deepa’. It will be open all day for religious ceremonies and rituals before fireworks bring the day to a close with a bang. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Tube: Neasdon. Oct 27. Free. 

Diwali on Trafalgar Square

Whether this is the best Diwali do depends on your thoughts on crowds, because this one draws ’em, big time. Around 35,000 people will gather to see dance performances, live music and visit food stalls flogging vegan snacks. Trafalgar Square. Tube: Charing Cross. Nov 3. Free.

Light Up the Night’ in Wembley Park 

Photograph: Courtesy Light Up the Night

This massive light-filled celebration marking Bonfire Night and Diwali is back. Diwali officially begins on October 27 and lasts for five days, so ‘Light Up the Night’ will take place outside the actual Diwali dates, on November 10. But it’s set to be a great, sparkling event with a fireworks display on Engineers Way, five-metre tall mechanical fire bird inspired by the Garuda bird myths found in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain culture, and a parade of giant illuminated butterflies. Plus, the whole thing is completely free. Various locations in Wembley. Nov 10. Free. 

Find more brilliant things to do in London this month with our October guide

Images: Diwali: Festival of Light © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich London; BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir © BAPS Media; Trafalgar Square © Jonathon Perugia/ Time Out 

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