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Diwali 2016: London to celebrate Festival of Lights from this weekend

Diwali in London

London, Oct 12 (UITV)- The Indian festival of Diwali, also referred to as the Festival of Lights is quickly approaching. Diwali is significant to Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in India, making the most widely celebrated festival in the country. In the UK, Indians make up the second largest foreign-born population. Therefore, it is no surprise that Diwali is celebrated in huge numbers across the country – with Indians and non-Indians alike participating in the festival.

Every year, the Mayor of London and the Diwali in London Committee put on an incredible Diwali celebration in Trafalgar Square. This year also London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan will launch the annual Diwali celebrations here at the Trafalgar Square on Sunday, featuring a mix of music, dance and live performances to mark the festival with people of all backgrounds.

Attendees will have the chance to taste spices and flavors from India, as well as purchase Indian crafts and gifts for friends and family during the festive season. Revellers will also gave the chance to don a sari, try hand at Bollywood dance moves, get a henna tattoo and can taste vegetarian Indian food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Khan will officially open the event by lighting a lamp on the main stage on Sunday alongside his Indian-origin Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal.

“London is open to all people and all communities – we don’t just tolerate each other’s differences, we embrace them. Now here is this more apparent than in London’s joyous celebration in Diwali in Trafalgar Square,” Khan said.

Diwali is believed to mark new beginnings and a renewal of commitment to family values. It also represent the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, with word ‘Diwali’ or ‘Deepavali’, meaning ‘a row of lamps’.

Diwali falls on 30 October this year, but the celebrations here in London are taking place a bit earlier.