Diwali is perhaps the most celebrated festival amongst British Hindus in the UK. The fairy lights and decorations hung on windows and doors add a much-needed sense of hope and brightness to dark, gloomy days of autumn.
With nearly 6,000 Hindus across the city, Manchester knows how to gear up for the Festival of Lights each year. Diwali in Manchester is an eventful time, with people from all ages getting involved in some way. In the lead up to the Festival of Lights, the Diwali fervour can be seen everywhere. Many Diwali parties and functions have already taken place over the past few days and more are coming up.
High school students from Altrincham Grammar School for boys, Altrincham Grammar School for girls and Sale Grammar school got together to put up a joint event called Utsav 2022. Students worked hard to set up performances which ranged from a special skit on Ramayana which was scripted by the students themselves to Bollywood dances and charades. Great food and a live DJ made everything even more festive, and the two-day event saw a turnout of 400 students and parents, with all profits going to Centrepoint and the Wythenshawe food bank. The event was sponsored by many brands like Vue, Virgin Media, Waterstones and Brow and Beauty, amongst others. A young sixth-former who was part of the organisers told iGlobal why he thought Utsav 2022 was so important to him and his peers.
“The reason we as organisers think it’s important to this event is because it not only raises awareness about what Diwali is to the wider community but also gives people an opportunity to step up and contribute back to the community whether that be by performing or volunteering at Utsav. Knowing there are other individuals who are celebrating the same festival for similar reasons helps to create a family-like support system.”
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Last weekend also saw a grand celebration hosted by Asian Events Manchester and Ravi ApnaBeat Sethi. The ‘Desi Saturday Night Diwali Special’ welcomed new university students and young professionals and ran from 10 pm to 3 am in the morning! The social event promised outstanding sound systems, state of the art club lighting and DJs like ApnaBeat, Ibz & Gorilla Chilla who presented a blend of Desi, Bhangra and Bollywood music to the young crowd. The event provided a great opportunity for young people to socialise and get in the festive mood.
On being asked why they believe Diwali Desi Nights such as these are important the organisers said:
“After an enforced Covid hiatus, events are important for people to be able to socialise, party and make new friends.
Clubs and parties have a place especially amongst a younger generation and those who like going out to be able to celebrate and enjoy our arts and culture LIVE rather than on screen or online!”
If you missed the above celebrations, there are still some lined up on Diwali Day October 24:
This fun half-term Diwali activity will be held at Droylsden Library for kids aged 4-11. The event, starting from 10.30 am to 11.30 am, will feature a Diwali-themed treasure hunt, crafts, and other games.
If stepping outside isn’t your thing, Greater Manchester Diwali Digital 2022 programme is an exciting online event which will bring the best from their online events during the pandemic, including classical dance and music, stories told through ancient art forms and much more! The event will run online from 5 pm to 9 pm
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There will be plenty of buzz around the city and something to do for everyone. Whether you live in Manchester or will be visiting in the coming days, make sure to check out some of the events coming up!