Biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India by NRIs!
UK Leicester city will illuminate 6,000 bulbs

Leicester, Oct.26, 2004

With the flick of a switch, 6,000 bulbs will illuminate this city to mark the start of one of the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India!

More than 70,000 people are expected to attend official events in this Asian dominated city over two days beginning Oct 31. The switch-on will follow a ceremony with cultural entertainment, music and dancing that starts in Belgrave Road, at 6 p.m.

Councillor Piara Singh Clair, the Lord Mayor of Leicester, is the guest of honour and will turn on the illuminations. He said: "I am really delighted to be chief guest at this year's Diwali celebrations.

"Diwali is an opportunity for all cultures to come together. It is a time for family and friends to share and enjoy. I am very proud of Leicester's Diwali celebrations."

Maganbhai Patel, president of the Leicester Hindu Festival Council, said: "We are very proud to have been at the heart of this event for more than a decade. Diwali celebrations here are the biggest outside the Indian subcontinent, and attract visitors to our city from across the world.

"I wish everyone a Happy Diwali and prosperous New Year."

Leicester City Council has urged people to note new laws, which make it illegal for anyone under 18 to be in possession of fireworks.

There will be fixed penalty fines for anyone caught breaking this law. People are warned by council officials not to bring fireworks to community events.

This year's official Diwali firework celebrations are being sponsored by Alliance & Leicester, a finance major.

The celebrations come after students, staff and parents at Abbey Primary School and Community centre enjoyed Raas and Garba last week.

Children of all ages dressed in colourful costumes enjoyed dancing to music provided by the Shivranjini group on the first day of Navratri.

Indo-Asian News Service