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Leicester’s 40th Diwali Light Switch on Brings Sparkle and Smiles to the City’s Golden Mile

Tens of thousands of people came from across the world to experience this years’ spectacular 40th Diwali light switch on in Leicester.

Last night (Sunday, October 29), was the 40th time that the event had taken place in the city, which is recognised for its amazing ‘Festival of Light’ celebrations the world over.

Over 30,000 people were drawn to Leicester’s glittering Golden Mile, to enjoy music, fireworks, fabulous food and plenty of positive vibes.

The city’s ‘Wheel of Light’ was also a popular fixture, with many jumping on board to get a bird’s eye view of Belgrave Road as it was lit up by thousands of sparking lamps.

Explaining the draw of Leicester’s Diwali celebrations, which are the largest outside of India, one reveller told the Leicester Times: “I’ve been coming since I was a child, so over ten years now. It’s just a really positive vibe – positive people, and even though I’m not Hindu myself, me and my Muslim friends like to come and enjoy the atmosphere. It’s just really friendly and positive.”

“It’s always a very special event in our calendar, because it brings together people from all communities in unity,” said Rob Nixon, Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, who was in attendance on the night.

“We know that people travel internationally to come because of the size of it, and from what we’ve seen tonight, the atmosphere has been tremendous.”

Commenting on the spectacle Claudia Webbe, Independent MP for Leicester East, said: “We are celebrating a huge achievement – 40 years and we’re still going strong. It’s such a wonderful thing, which brings all communities together and it’s so brilliant that the Hindu community leads us in this celebration.”

Diwali celebrations continue on November 12, with the arrival of ‘Diwali Day.’

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