This year Edinburgh celebrated the famous Indian Festival of Lights – Diwali with the story of Ramayana, a parade, performances and a finale of colourful fireworks. Discover more about the history of this traditional Indian celebration; and why you should put Diwali celebration in Edinburgh in your diary for 2019.
Highlights of Diwali Celebration in Edinburgh
History of Diwali
Diwali also known as Deepavali or Dipavali is the Hindu festival of lights, celebrated every October/November. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism is celebrated over five days illuminating the home and shops with clay lamps known as diyas. The English meaning of Diwali is a row of lights.
It is said to be dated back to ancient India and most likely began as an important harvest festival. It commemorates the return of Lord Rama (along with Ma Sita and Lakshman) from his 14-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana.
Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and new beginnings. Moment of Joy and Happiness for All.
Story of Ramayana
This year’s display in West Princes Street Gardens told the story of Ramayana through traditional Indian puppetry tableaux.
The ancient Sanskrit epic which follows Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana with the help of an army of monkeys.
Diwali celebration in Edinburgh brought together all communities in the parade that travelled from the City Chambers down The Mound crossing Princes Street, up on to Queen Street before finishing at Castle Street.
It was a feast for the eyes and ears with four floats, the Elephant god – Ganesh, Monkey god – Hanuman, Vishnu (Rama & Krishna) and the final float with human adaptations of the gods and goddesses.
The parade was lead by the Scottish Regiment Pipe Band, followed by dancers in colourful traditional dress, musicians and more!
Afternoon performances included tradition dancing, music and cultural stories entertaining a full crowd until early evening at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.
The day’s celebrations concluded with the sky ablaze in a colourful display of fireworks.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to visit Edinburgh to celebrate Diwali in 2019. Don’t forget to book your accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment and as always I would love to answer any questions you have. Please leave any comments/questions below. Happy Travels:) x