Article Source: Edinburgh Diwali
Last Updated: 14 November 2023 12:22
Edinburgh Diwali returns to Scotland’s capital city on Sunday 19 November 2023 with a colourful and vibrant parade full of marching bands, dancers and a heady mix of Scottish and Indian music and entertainment with a spectacular Fireworks finale in the annual celebration of the triumph of light over darkness. A vibrant and colourful procession through the city centre featuring pipe bands, Bhangra dancers, folk dancers and drummers culminates in dance performances on Castle Street before the celebrations move to The Ross Bandstand in West Princes Street Gardens. Over 300 performers will take part this year and an audience of over 5,000 is expected to enjoy the parade, music, performances and delicious food. The event is open to all and free to attend.
Rajnish Singh, President of Edinburgh Diwali, said: “Edinburgh Diwali, the most popular Indian festival of light, has been celebrated here in Edinburgh in a truly multicultural way since 2015. Diwali 2023 celebrates Unity in Diversity, a theme that has worldwide resonance this year. While the celebration is key, we strongly believe that it should also emphasise the unity in celebration of underlying positive values across the world but at the same time highlight the differences & diversity in the ways we celebrate. This year Diwali will promote the role of Culture and Heritage in enhancing harmony and minimising hate within a multicultural society, like we have here in Edinburgh and Scotland.
“With a rich mix of South Asian and Scottish culture, music, and performances, it’s a wonderful opportunity for all of Edinburgh’s residents and visitors to immerse themselves in this colourful, inclusive, and interactive celebration with family and friends. We are thankful to all our supporters for continuing in 2023, including City of Edinburgh Council Culture, National Lottery, Baillie Gifford, BEMIS Scotland, LIDL GB, and the volunteers without whom it would not be possible to organise this event. The Edinburgh Diwali celebrations are free and open to all, and we encourage everyone to come and join us, both on the parade along George Street and at the festivities in West Princes Street Gardens.”
The Edinburgh Diwali Parade will start in from St Andrew Square at 12.30pm and move along George Street to Castle Street headed by the Scottish Regiment Band together with the Stockbridge Pipe Band, Glencorse Pipe Band and the Edinburgh Noise Society. The bands will be accompanied by six groups of dancers, representing dance forms from states of Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in India – all part of community groups, and students around Edinburgh including the Edinburgh Bhangra Crew and Edinburgh University’s Junoon and Colombian dance group El Encanto. The Parade will be led by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Consul General of India Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Diwali Committee.
The Lord Provost and Chairperson of Edinburgh Diwali, Robert Aldridge said: “The Diwali celebrations in Edinburgh are always a much-anticipated highlight of the year and I am delighted to see them return for 2023. The Festival of Lights is marked by 1.5 billion people across the world and illuminates our city in a celebration of lights, dance and music. It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our community whilst enjoying a rich fusion of South Asian and Scottish culture and entertainment.
“Edinburgh Diwali promises to be a memorable event for everyone, regardless of their background. I am grateful to the President and the Committee for their ongoing work and dedication which makes the celebration such a success every year.”
Celebrations continue at the Ross Bandstand in West Princes Street Gardens from 2.45pm with an eclectic mix of dance, drama, and music. Dance groups including Dance Ihayami, Bollyfeat, Classsical Confluence and Dance@Studio21 present Indian, Scottish, and fusion performances. A scene from the epic Ramayana, depicting the story behind Diwali, will be performed by students and actors from Bharatiya Ashram Dundee and the grand finale will be a live performance from Kaykay & Co, the British Asian fusion band from London led by Kaykay Chouhan. The evening will culminate in a spectacular firework display at 5.30pm.
Consul General of India Edinburgh, Mr Bijay Selvaraj, said: "Diwali, the festival of lights marks the triumphant return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. Today it is celebrated around the world by people from all walks of life and is also referred to as the festival of lights. It’s a time of great celebration and food and more importantly renewing our hope that good will always triumph evil.
“Edinburgh Diwali is organising its annual Diwali celebration in the city centre on 19 November with colourful parades, dance & music and fireworks. I am pleased to extend my and Indian Consulate’s support to this excellent community led celebration and looking forward to it."
Edinburgh Diwali 2023 is supported by City of Edinburgh Council Diversity & Inclusion Fund, National Lottery Awards for All, Baillie Gifford, Lidl GB, Craigvrack Hotel, BEMIS Scotland with Garnethill Hebrew Congregation and three of Edinburgh’s leading Indian restaurants - Tantra, The Clay Oven and Dishoom. Edinburgh Diwali is working with Unique Assembly, provider of Edinburgh Christmas, who are supporting Diwali 2023 as one of the weekend community events at Ross Bandstand.
Full details of the Edinburgh Diwali celebrations can be found at https://www.edinburghdiwali.co.uk/
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