Are you ready for Diwali? Auckland’s Diwali celebrations start tomorrow, with the Auckland Diwali Festival organising 20 days of celebration in the lead up to Diwali on 4 November.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “Diwali is one of Auckland’s most well-loved festivals and it was disappointing that the usual celebration had to be cancelled once again due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“However, Diwali will still be a special time for Aucklanders, with the online programme providing opportunities for families to enjoy Indian culture and celebrate the Festival of Lights together.”

The Auckland Diwali Festival team have gathered a range of entertaining and educational content for all Aucklanders to enjoy, available at Aucklandnz.com/Diwali or via the Auckland Diwali Festival Facebook page that will be posting daily. Landmarks will also be lighting up in bright fuchsia and yellow for the Festival of Lights from later in October. 

Leilana Meredith, Festival Producer, says: “While the tens of thousands of Aucklanders who normally attend our major event aren’t able to this year, we still wanted to support Aucklanders to celebrate Diwali.

“Tasty Indian dishes and treats are a firm festival favourite, so we have fantastic at-home recipes and cooking demonstrations; music, crafts and dance are always hugely popular, so we have dance classes, henna and craft templates, videos to learn more about Diwali and Indian culture, and a playlist of music from DJs that would usually perform at the festival,” says Meredith.

Local Board Member Ella Kumar is hosting a Bollyrobix class this Sunday as part of the online celebration, and says: “This year, along with the online activities from Auckland Diwali Festival Facebook page, it is an awesome opportunity for the families to celebrate Diwali in their own homes by lighting up with fairy Christmas lights, making festival foods that are specifically made during Diwali and sharing the history of Diwali. The children can also enjoy Rangoli art at home around their property,” says Kumar.

Meredith says that stallholders and performers are a key part of the full festival, and the team was determined to find ways for the online celebration to showcase their talents.

“We want to thank our community of performers, stallholders and sponsors who have been so important in creating the content for this online celebration.”

The Auckland Diwali Festival is delivered by Auckland Unlimited, on behalf of Auckland Council.  

 Asia New Zealand Foundation is the festival’s founding partner.

The Auckland Diwali Festival online celebration:

  • Live cooking classes with Dolly Mumma and live dance classes - Bollyrobix with Ella Kumar, Bollyfitness by Aaja Nachle and Bollywood Masala by Khottey Sikkey on the Auckland Diwali Festival Facebook page.

  • Craft templates for henna art, making a paper marigold garland, rangoli and a salt dough diya, great for the whole family to enjoy.

  • Vegetarian recipes to try at home thanks to Dolly MummaBanu’sMithai, and Anju’s Kitchen.

  • Dance and music playlists, featuring the local dancers, musicians and DJs that would usually perform on stage at the Diwali Festival.