The vibrant colours, infectious beats, and the enticing smell of Indian cuisine filled the air at the Lincoln domain on November 11th, as the Selwyn Diwali Festival took place with lots of festivities and cultural celebrations. 

More than 6,000 attendees from Christchurch and the Selwyn district gathered at the event, which went on from 4 pm to 9 pm.

Organised by Bhartiya Samaj Canterbury(BSC) and Canterbury Indian Women Group(CIWG), the festival served as a melting pot of cultures, uniting communities and fostering a spirit of togetherness.

Lincoln domain wore a festive look and with a tastefully decorated entrance, colourful stage, stalls, decorative lights and vibrant costumes.

The festivities commenced with a ceremonial inauguration led by guests including Selwyn Deputy Mayor Malcolm Lyall, MPs Hamish Campbell, Reuben Davidson, Inspector Peter Cooper, and Candy Wu Zhang from the Ministry of Ethnic Communities, along with festival sponsors.

The cultural extravaganza started with the singing of both the New Zealand and Indian national anthems. This was followed by a Kapa Haka performance by students from five Selwyn District schools, setting the stage for an evening filled with diverse cultural expressions.

Over 30 captivating performances were lined up for the evening, showcasing talents across various age groups. 

Performances included Bharatnatyam by The Roy Sisters, Bollywood Bollyfeet Kids, Revathi Performing Arts, Timila Dance Academy, classical instrumental performances by Liam Oliver and Group, Happy Feet, Bhangra performances by Aura and Bhullar brothers, The Bhangra Fitness, Kathakars, Rebel Roots,  Christchurch Kerala Association, Kerala Cultural Forum, Canterbury Tamil Society, Dancing Stars, RDDC, Groove Dance Company and many more.

International groups, including Island Girls, Sri Lankan Dance Group, Soul Star Tribe and Ritmo Filipino, also added to the cultural vibrancy of the festival.

The festival’s highlight was the unique ‘Brides of India’ showcase put together by the Canterbury Indian Women Group (CIWG). The show featured women from different states of India dressed in exquisite traditional bridal attire from their respective regions and cultures. Archna Tandon from CIWG choreographed and produced the show. She narrated the cultural significance and details of each dress. The audience enjoyed the show with loud applause and cheers.

Amidst the performances, the aroma of Indian cuisine filled the air as the food stalls served up authentic Indian food. Trade stalls showcasing Indian jewellery and traditional Indian garments added an element of shopping delight to the festivities.

The show concluded with a spectacular fireworks show.

Attributing the success of the event to the various stakeholders, Surinder Tandon of BSC said, “Heartfelt thanks to the proud sponsors, cultural performers, food vendors, artists, fashion and trade businesses and dedicated volunteers, who contributed to the success of Selwyn Diwali. The fair-like environment and diverse cultural performances made Selwyn Diwali an unforgettable experience for all involved.”


Archna Tandon of CIWG highlighted the festival’s significance in celebrating diversity and fostering community engagement. “The festival not only celebrated Diwali but also provided a platform for community engagement and appreciation of diverse talents,” said Archna.