2019 Auckland Diwali Festival to be Held in Oct
Auckland’s Queen Street and Aotea Square will be transformed into a colorful and mouth-watering spectacle when Auckland Diwali Festival takes place on 12 and 13 October. Bright lights, energetic dance performances, incredible Indian delicacies and fireworks will excite and delight festival goers of all ages and ethnicities.
The Auckland Diwali Festival is inspired by Diwali or Deepavali (row of lamps), an important and ancient Indian festival colloquially known as ‘The Festival of Lights’. It is celebrated by people in India and Indians living abroad. Families light lamps, candles, and fireworks to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness, wisdom over ignorance, and good over evil.
Originally a Hindu festival, Diwali is also celebrated by non-Hindus. The Auckland Diwali Festival was first held in 2002, initiated by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and delivered in partnership with the then Auckland City Council (now Auckland Council). It was set up to raise public awareness of traditional Indian culture and acknowledge the contribution made by the country’s Indian communities during their long history in New Zealand.
The religious festival’s annual dates are decided by the lunar calendar. The Auckland Diwali Festival is timed to coincide with both the observance of Diwali and the Wellington Diwali Festival.
The festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, in conjunction with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation. ATEED Auckland Diwali Festival producer Leilana Meredith says the vegetarian festival will see hundreds of performances take place across the two days as well as more than sixty street stalls set up on Queen Street.
The festival is free to attend, alcohol-free, smoke-free, and family friendly.