Thousands flock to Auckland's Diwali festival

  • 17/10/2015
Thousands flock to Auckland's Diwali festival

Thousands of people are heading to events for the traditional Indian festival of Diwali in central Auckland this weekend.

Minister for Ethnic Communities Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says he's looking forward to the ancient Hindu festival celebrated in New Zealand and elsewhere each year.

Last year's two-day festival in Auckland attracted 35,000 people.

Auckland Transport is advising of road closures and parking restrictions for the festival and advises people to take public transport.

There is live music, dance, food and art in Auckland's Aotea Square and the adjacent section of Queen St from noon to 9pm today and tomorrow, culminating in a fireworks display at 9pm on tomorrow.

Events around the country will be held during the next three weeks.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important festivals on the Hindu calendar.

"It's a demonstration of our diverse and accepting culture that it is also a festival that many other New Zealanders of all ethnic groups eagerly await," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

Diwali celebrates the conquest of light over darkness, truth over ignorance. It is a festival celebrated all over the world and is an official holiday in many countries.

"For New Zealand's Indian community this is a significant time of year and I am looking forward to celebrating this time with them," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.