This year’s Diwali Day celebrations have been described as a “massive success” by Leicestershire Police’s Temporary Chief Constable, with thousands pouring into Leicester from across the UK and the wider world.
Leicester’s famous Diwali Day celebrations took place last night (Monday, October 24), with spectacular fireworks, dazzling lights, and vibrant entertainment bringing the city to life.
The celebrations, which are held around Leicester’s Belgrave Road area, are the biggest outside of India and attract people not only from across the UK, but also the wider world.
Rob Nixon, Leicestershire Police’s Temporary Chief Constable, spoke with immense pride about the event which he labelled a “massive success.”
Despite recent tensions in the east of the city, he was pleased that the event took place without disruption, and that people were out in their masses, enjoying the “electric atmosphere” on offer.
“This is a major event in our calendar – the largest celebration outside of India and we’re really proud that it’s taking place here in Leicester,” he told the Leicester Times.
“Of course over the recent weeks, there’s been some nervousness about how this celebration was going to go, and whether there was likely to be any disruption, and of course our message has been consistent all the way through – we wanted the communities to celebrate and enjoy it, because Diwali’s not just about the Hindu community, it’s about all the faiths coming together,” he explained.
Speaking of the atmosphere, he said: “I’ve been here for three hours, walking around, speaking to members of the public and overwhelmingly the atmosphere is positive, it’s upbeat and people are enjoying themselves.
“I’m seeing people that are from all over the country, but most notably I had a conversation with some who had flown in from America to come and experience Diwali here in Leicester.
“Their words were that this is ‘the best celebration in the globe,’ and they said it was worth all their effort and expense to travel across to be here.
“They were very complimentary about the celebration, the officers, the atmosphere and it made me really proud of what Leicester stands for,” he added.
The event saw thousands flock to the city’s Cossington Street Recreation Ground, where a special ‘Diwali Village’ was set up for people to enjoy before the evening’s climactic firework display began.
There was a vast array of fairground rides and food stalls on offer, as well as vibrant and joyful dancing on the main stage.
The day was made even more joyous, due to the fact that these were the first restriction free Diwali celebrations since the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was also the day that Rishi Sunak was announced as the UKs first British Asian Hindu Prime Minister.
“Today I am celebrating two things; Diwali and Rishi Sunak becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,” one reveller told the Leicester Times.
“He’s a brother Hindu and as a brother Hindu, obviously I wish him well and I’m expecting a great deal from him.”
“Obviously we’re hoping for the best, but we don’t know what the future holds. So let’s see,” added another.