A fabulous festival of song, dance and art will bring a blaze of colour to Luton town centre this month.
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is the most popular of all South Asian celebrations and is celebrated by Jains and Sikhs as well as Hindus.
On Saturday, October 26, the festival will again return to Luton town centre from 12pm to 7.30pm.
The free entertainment will include traditional dancing, singing and visual arts along with traditional food and drink.
The Diwali parade, being organised by outdoor arts company Festive Road, will start at 6pm at Market Hill, weave its way down George Street and will finish at St George’s Square at around 7pm.
This will be followed by a dramatic firework display from the rooftop of The Mall shopping centre.
Event manager Furhaad Ahmed said: “The Arts Council like to part fund events so the support from Luton BID was essential to obtaining this funding.
“This year we have also had support from The Mall and Revoluton Arts.
“It is thanks to all this generosity that our Hindu festival of lights is set to be bigger and better than ever before.”
The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali’, meaning rows of lighted lamps. The festival traditionally lasts for five days and usually falls in October and November.
The Diwali in Luton line-up is as follows:
> 12pm: Tommy Sandhu, Asian radio DJ, will open the show
> 1.30pm and 3.30pm: Rhythm Arts & Dance Academy, a folk and tribal dance academy
> 2.15pm: Dance company, Om Stars Academy, who have performed for both the England Cricket team and the Indian Prime Minister
> 2.30pm: Join BhangraBlaze – a fusion of fitness with bhangra
> 2.45pm: Jamilah, who was on X Factor 2008 as part of girl group ‘Desire’, will be on stage
> 3.30pm Soni’s School of Garba Dance, an award winning Garna Dance group
> 4pm: Dhol Bhangra Smash Up, a fusion of mainstream western sounds with traditional bhangra beats, using the Indian dhol and dholak
> 4.30pm: JIYA, a fusion of Hindi and English music
> 5.30pm: Navin Kundra, a talented singer-songwriter who combines Eastern and Western influences