Details of the vibrant, multi-cultural celebration which will be held in the city centre on Sunday were announced today.
Returning for the first time in two years with a live, in person event, Edinburgh Diwali 2021 will include the traditional parade, led by the Rt Hon Lord Provost, taking a new route from St Andrew Square to Castle Street, and a full programme of performance at the Ross Bandstand in West Princes Street Gardens.
All events take place outside and are free and open to all.
The Edinburgh Diwali Parade, a lively and colourful procession of dancers and pipe bands starts from St Andrew Square on Sunday 21 November at 1.00pm and will be led by the Lord Provost Frank Ross. Dancers from the Edinburgh Bhangra Crew, the Marathi Dance by Bollywood Dance Group, the Bengali Dance Group, the Garba Dance by Junoon from the University of Edinburgh and the Rajasthani Dance by Rangilo Rajasthani Group are joined by Edinburgh’s Salsa Dancers and The Scottish Regiment, Glencorse and Stockbridge pipe bands as well as the Edinburgh Noise Committee.
The Parade will also include music and performances on Castle Street from 2:00pm – 2.30pm, before the celebrations move to the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens for more theatre, music and dance from Dance @Studio21, Dance Ihayami, Theiya Arts and Absolutely Legless who fuse traditional Irish dance with Indian dance forms. There will be Indian food on sale prepared by Indian by Nature and Prana Indian grill.
The event finale is a fireworks display at 5.30pm from the Castle Rock.
The South Asian Festival of Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists around the world, each religion marking different historical events and legends, however all represent the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.
Edinburgh Diwali, a Scottish charity, is run by a team of volunteers headed by President of Edinburgh Diwali, Rajnish Singh, who explained: “Diwali is the celebration of light over darkness, good over evil, and many cultures around the world mark this as we go into the dark nights of winter. After the last 18 months it is even more important to celebrate Diwali and with such a wide programme of performances and entertainment from different cultures, Edinburgh Diwali is making a huge effort to bring communities together. This is truly an event for everyone – so come and celebrate with us.”
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “I’m delighted to be welcoming Edinburgh Diwali back in person this year, and to be able to lead its vibrant procession through the city. I’m sure many more will be just as excited to see this colourful festival return to our streets and to participate and celebrate the victory of good over evil and hope over despair.
“Edinburgh Diwali is a special occasion for the Capital, when we join more than 1.5 billion people around the world to ward off darkness and welcome the light into our lives. My thanks to the President, Committee and a dedicated team of volunteers who have worked extremely hard to bring this event back this year. Please have a great Diwali and check out the fantastic programme of activities planned to mark its live, in-person return.”
Shri Bijay Selvaraj, Consul General of India in Edinburgh said “Diwali is a time of celebration and hope. The festival symbolises the victory of good over evil. It is also a time for families and friends to get together and share their happiness. I am delighted that the Edinburgh Diwali is back to its physical format with The City of Edinburgh under the Lord Provost graciously hosting this important festival. I hope this celebration in Edinburgh spreads the message of Diwali to the wider community in Scotland and the UK.’’
Edinburgh Diwali 2021 is supported by The City of Edinburgh Council Local Festival & Event Fund, National Lottery Awards for All Fund and Kumon Corstorphine & Leith GKP Limited.
There will be cultural performances on the South Side of St Andrew Square on Sunday 21 November followed by The Edinburgh Diwali parade which departs at 1.00pm. The programme of events on the Ross Bandstand starts at 3.00pm and the Firework Finale is at 5.30pm. All events are in the open air, are free of charge and everyone is welcome.