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.
Diwali takes place over five days and begins at a different time each year. For 2019, October 27 is the starting point, but you can normally find celebrations across London on different dates, like this family friendly-festival in SW19. Sacred Heart Church. Tube: Wimbledon. Sat Oct 12. £8.
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. Dinarama. Shoreditch High St Overground. Oct 22. £8.
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. Oct 26. Free.
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.
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.
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