Spectacular Diwali on the Square event returns to Birmingham after two-year absence
A spectacular free Diwali celebration with singing, dancing, food and fun for all the community will make an eagerly anticipated return to Birmingham city centre this weekend.
After being suspended for the last two years because of the COVID pandemic, Diwali on the Square will burst into life once again on Saturday 15 October in the city’s showpiece Victoria Square.
The Consulate General of India has joined forces with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to celebrate the Festival of Lights at Diwali on the Square which runs between 11am and 4pm.
The event will be headlined by Punjabi singer, songwriter and rapper Garry Sandhu. The line-up will also include musician Hemant Patel and a host of dance groups including the Bollywood Dreams Dance Company, India Island Academy, Chitraleka, and Gabhru Punjab De.
There will be authentic Indian food supplied by the region’s best restaurants, plus Mehndi artists, face painting, kite making and many other stalls and activities.
Consul General Dr Shashank Vikram added: “It’s my great pleasure to bring back ‘Diwali on the Square’ after two years in association with Mayor Andy Street.
“I hope this will help in bringing communities together and celebrate the spirit of Diwali which signifies the victory of light over darkness. We hope the families and children will have a fun filled day.
“See you all in Victoria Square on Saturday. Happy Diwali.”
Diwali is a five-day festival celebrated by faiths throughout the Indian community to mark different historical events and stories but with all of them symbolising the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
The festival is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and is a major event in India and surrounding territories.
It is celebrated by lighting lamps and candles in doors and windows of the home, around temples and other buildings, along with fireworks.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street will be joined by the Consul General of India, Dr Shashank Vikram, when he speaks to the crowd at midday.
The Mayor said: “After COVID interrupted our annual ‘Diwali on the Square’ in person celebrations, I’m so pleased that – after a two year hiatus – we will be back in Victoria Square in Birmingham on the 15th October for a wonderful festival of food, culture and fun for all the family.
“It’s a moment for communities to come together and I’m looking forward to enjoying the day out with fellow local residents.”
Prof. Michael Harkin, vice-chancellor and principal for University College Birmingham, said: “We have many students from across India and South Asia that are looking forward to celebrating the Festival of Lights with us here in Birmingham.
“Diwali on the Square is right on our doorstep and with our close connections to the community and partnership with the Consulate General of India and Mayor of West Midlands, we are delighted to be sponsoring and supporting this wonderful event.
“In the lead-up to this time of hope and celebration, we would like to wish everyone a prosperous year full of good light.”
The event is sponsored this year by University College Birmingham, Birmingham Airport, Air India, HSBC UK, Asha’s, East End Foods, Enzen and Lioncroft Wholesale.