Diwali is by far the most popular Indian festival outside the country as it is celebrated across the world where Indians are present in whatever number, and in bigger cities with much pomp. Although it was traditionally a Hindu festival but now is celebrated by almost all across India. Edinburgh have had several Diwali events over the years by different Indian groups but was lacking a truly public Diwali, which is free and open to all. To create one such event was the driving force behind the foundation of Edinburgh Diwali in 2015. Mr Mohindra Dhall (Uncle to many of us) was the prime orchestrator in getting this off the ground with great support from the then Lord Provost of Edinburgh – Mr. Donald Wilson. A small group of committed individuals from different Indian and Nepalese communities became part of the first Edinburgh Diwali Committee and showed real grit and determination to deliver the first Public Diwali celebrations in 2015. It was under very challenging situations in the backdrop of intense scepticism and road blocks from different corners. The passion and focus of the Committee coupled with greater support from the wider community enabled the very first event to be noticed and appreciated by most and was considered as a success. This gave the platform for much bigger and grander Diwali for subsequent years.
The year 2016 saw the consolidation with additional fillip in the form of Lord Provost of Edinburgh agreed to become the Chair of Edinburgh Diwali, which is still the continuing till now. We extend our gratitude and appreciation to two Lord Provosts and their office for their continued support and guidance. The event also expanded – bigger event within Rossband Theatre plus the addition of impressive Parade from City Chambers to Princes Street Gardens with bands, dancing troupes amongst other. The third year, 2017, saw the Service band participating for the first time and the event got bigger in size and grandeur from previous year.
This year, 2018, we are geared up for fourth Diwali a bigger and more impressive parade and equally impressive show at Ross band theatre. We all within the Committee are very excited and are ready to welcome all to this year’s Diwali on 03 November 2018.
I can now say with confidence the Edinburgh Public Diwali as an event and Edinburgh Diwali as an organisation has come of age. I am very proud to be part of Edinburgh Diwali from day one and have seen it from an Idea to a permanent fixture within the Edinburgh festival calendar within such a small time. The challenges are immense, but the determination and passion are in plenty and I am positive that Edinburgh Diwali’s march will continue to a bigger and grander festival in future.
Happy Diwali everyone!!!!
For full details of the Edinburgh Diwali celebrations go to http://www.edinburghdiwali.co.uk.
Secretary – Edinburgh Diwali