Several of Auckland’s most famous landmarks will be lit up as part of Diwali celebrations that will culminate in a CBD fireworks display on Sunday night.
This year, for the first time, Auckland Museum, the Sky Tower and Viaduct Harbour will be lit in Diwali colours of fuschia, yellow and orange along with the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Diwali or Deepavali, which means “row of lamps”, is an important and ancient Indian festival colloquially known as The Festival of Lights. It is celebrated over four or five days each spring in New Zealand.
Originally a Hindu festival, Diwali is also celebrated by non-Hindus and is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.
The religious festival’s annual dates are decided by the lunar calendar.
The Auckland Diwali Festival this weekend will include New Zealand’s largest vegetarian festival.
Festival-goers will be able to try an array of Indian foods and sweets from more than 40 stalls on Queen Street opposite the town hall.
There will also be more than 50 hours of live entertainment in the CBD, with more than 200 performances throughout the weekend.
Audiences can also learn about the 125-year history of New Zealand’s Indian communities at a photography exhibition called Mokaa: the Land of Opportunity located in the foyer of Aotea Centre.
The festival, which also gives cricket fans the opportunity to meet the Black Caps on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, culminates with a firework display on Sunday night just before 9pm.