How much do you know about the Hindu festival of lights known as Diwali? It’s also sometimes referred to as Deepavali or Dipavali, and is celebrated in autumn here in the northern hemisphere, with participants in the southern hemisphere observing it in the spring.
In fact, one of the biggest epicentres for Diwali celebrations outside India is Leicester, which marks this year’s festival with a little help from some characterful – albeit huge – puppets!
A performance for attendees to remember
Shoppers and workers who are near the city’s Clock Tower at 5pm on Friday 2nd November will be treated to a giant puppet parade and performance that will put a new slant on Diwali.
The show will re-imagine the Hindu mythological characters of Hanuman and Ravana as 10ft puppets leading a procession of 30 dancers, four Dhol drummers and two stilt walkers, followed by armies of monkeys and demons facing off in a dance battle.
The performance has been organised by local company Inspirate’s An Indian Summer, which is an annual festival that explores Indian culture and heritage. The University of Leicester is also supporting the show.
The perfect way to celebrate South Asian culture
The director of An Indian Summer, Jiten Anand, commented: “This puppet performance has been in the pipeline for a few years now and we’ve finally put it together.
“We’ve created the two giant puppets and there’s going to be a cast of around 35 people, so it’s really to try and bring a modern twist to Diwali and to also engage a younger generation of people into a very traditional festival.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with the University of Leicester on this project, and there are a lot of students involved in the dance performance and many will also be involved in the school workshops and activities.”
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