Press Release – Asia New Zealand Foundation
Visiting Indian puppeteers, ornately costumed dancers and a travelling sand artist will join hundreds of local performers to create another big weekend in Wellington at the 10th Diwali Festival of Lights.Counting down to Diwali 2011
Diwali holiday programme: Thursday October 13, 11am to 4pm, and Friday October 14, 11.30am to 3pm, Te Papa.
Wellington Diwali Festival of Lights: 1.30pm to 10pm, Sunday 16 October 2011 at TSB Bank Arena and Shed 6. Gold coin entry.
Visiting Indian puppeteers, ornately costumed dancers and a travelling sand artist will join hundreds of local performers to create another big weekend in Wellington at the 10th Diwali Festival of Lights.
Wellington’s Diwali Mela will take place from 1.30pm to 10pm, Sunday 16 October 2011 at TSB Bank Arena and Shed 6. Highlights include vegetarian food stalls, activities and crafts – along with non-stop music, storytelling, dance and theatrical performances and the Bollywood Dance Competition. The celebrations will culminate in fireworks on Sunday night.
This year’s visiting artists include Manipuri dancers from the JN Manipur Dance Academy, whose intricate costumes feature mirrors and embroidery, and the Indian Puppeteers company, which uses giant shadow puppets to tell much-loved Indian stories. Sand artist Ranjan Kumar Ganguly will build a giant sand sculpture (location and times are dependent on weather and will be confirmed later this week).
The Asia New Zealand Foundation (Asia:NZ) has also organised a programme of performances and activities at Te Papa on Thursday and Friday (October 13 and 14) to help keep the kids entertained during the school holidays. The programme – aimed at children aged four to 16 – includes henna hand painting, and making Rangoli patterns.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a traditional family celebration that involves the lighting of small oil-filled lamps and candles to signify the triumph of good over evil. Originally a Hindu festival, it now signifies different things throughout India. New Zealand’s festivals not only celebrate the traditions of Diwali but give Indian communities the opportunity to share their cultures.
Diwali Festival of Lights is brought to you by Asia:NZ in partnership with Wellington City Council and community groups.
For more information about the festivals, visit: www.asianz.org.nz.