Fri. Dec 8th, 2023
img 2026

The 22nd edition of the biggest Indian event in New Zealand, ‘the festival of lights’ or popularly known as Diwali, was celebrated in Auckland on 4th and 5th November. Auckland Diwali festival is the only occasion in the whole year when city’s main thoroughfare is closed for traffic for whole two days and temporary stalls are erected on the street. A part of the Queens Street is used as a makeshift stage for the cultural performances and every year the thousands of visitors are seen cheering and lauding the performers and dancing with them. This year was no exception as well and an estimated crowd of around 80 thousand took part in the two days free event which culminated with the grand show of fireworks at around 9 pm. A crowd of around 25 thousand people gathered at Aotea Centre and Queens Street cheered and applauded the magnificent and colourful fireworks.
The Auckland Diwali-2023 event started on Saturday 4th November at 12 noon with Prime Minister elect Christopher Luxon lighting the traditional Diwali lamp at the main stage amid chanting of Vedic mantras by a Hindu priest. In his short speech Christopher Luxon congratulated people on the occasion of Diwali and thanked them for their support in the recent elections. The cultural and dance performances started immediate after and continued one after other till nine o’clock in the evening on both the days.
The Auckland Diwali festival is organised by Auckland Council with support from some generous sponsors and this year it was BNZ bank. Started in year 2002, festival has come a long way and now become a platform to showcase the vibrant Indian culture, dance, music, artifacts, and a range of mouthwatering Indian cuisines. Like every year, people were seen queuing up in front of the popular stalls to taste their favourite delicacies with their friends and families. Some top Indian restaurants and caterers have been part of the Diwali event every year and people just flock to their stalls to try the sweets and other delicacies.
Auckland Diwali festival is a vegetarian, alcohol-free and smoke-free family event keeping in mind the traditional Hindu festive practices and beliefs. The two days event involves a massive behind the scenes meticulous planning and a lot of hard work of coordination and execution. The two-day event involves around nine months of planning, coordination between stakeholders and countless meeting. Jap Savali, the event manager at Tataki Auckland Unlimited joined the team last year says, ‘we really look forward to the partnerships and see that it activates through the festival’. This year three venues close to each other at Aotea Centre featured approx. 150 performances during the two days festival. To minimise the public disruption on a busy street as Queens Street, preparations to set up stalls and to erect stage began in the wee hours of Thursday morning which is always the biggest challenge. Three stages were set up in Aotea Square and on the Queens Street along with a street zone. The organising team had arranged special rickshaws to run from Britomart to the event site for those who wanted to reach festival in style and have fun.
The Auckland Diwali event was a huge success this year as well and it went without any untoward incident. The weather just until a day before gave jitters to many stakeholders but on the day, it turned out to nice bright day and perfect weather for the open-air event. -Yugal Parashar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by Matakite Online Trust of New Zealand