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Diwali celebrations to light up Northampton town centre

Community, safety and emergencies

07 October 2021

Diwali Festival Of Lights

Family entertainment, delicious food and the annual lantern procession are set to light up Northampton town centre on Saturday, 30 October.

The annual Festival of Lights celebrations are organised by the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation with support from West Northants Council and will open with food and community stalls on the Market Square from 10am.

There will be family-friendly activities such as henna painting, Karom board game, and sari dressing, with performances, music and stage entertainment beginning at 1pm.

The much-anticipated lantern procession will begin at 6pm on the Market Square, with two pedal-powered puppets of Harminder the elephant and Shanti the giant bird leading the way. These old favourites will be joined by puppets of Hanumanji, Rama, Sita, Ravana, and Ganesh, as well as pupils from local schools, as they make their way up Abington Street, along St Giles’ Terrace, and down St Giles Street. The procession will then take a loop of All Saints Church before returning to the Market Square.

;During the procession, a light will be offered to Council Leader Jonathan Nunn, Town Mayor Councillor Rufia Ashraf, and Councillor Jane Birch, Leader of the majority Labour group of Northampton Town Council, at the steps of The Guildhall and another light at the All Saints Church, received by Father Oliver Coss.

At 7pm dignitaries will take to the market stage for speeches and to countdown to switching on the Diwali Lights, before bhangra music and dancing close the event at 8pm.

Neelam Aggarwal-Singh, chairperson for the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation, said: “We’re excited to be bringing the Diwali celebrations to Northampton for the 21st year running.

“It has become a great tradition in the town. Each year we work with local schools and communities to bring something new to the event, and it is wonderful to see how the event has grown. Everyone is welcome to join us on the day as we celebrate the amazing Festival of Lights.”

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “The town’s Diwali celebrations are always a popular occasion, with families flocking into the town to enjoy the entertainment and see the lantern procession.

“As always, Festive Road have done an amazing job creating a fantastic procession of puppets, lanterns, drummers and school children. If you have never experienced our Diwali celebrations, I encourage you to come along and celebrate this fantastic festival.”

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