Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, has truly become a Victorian festival.
This annual event, celebrating the victory of good over evil, will be launched on the Yarra in a fully decorated Diwali boat on Friday, 18 October, followed by a five-day, free screening of Bollywood films at Fed Square, sponsored by Mind Blowing Films.
During this week preceding the main event, there will be dance performances at the City Square and Flinders Street Station with the support of Metro & COM. A specially decorated horse carriage with Indian music will be seen around the city during this week.
International travellers will be able to enjoy the beautiful Diwali display, live performances and Diwali greetings at the Departure Lounge of Melbourne Airport from 23 October till 3 November.
The main event on Saturday, 26 October will immerse Federation Square in rich, vibrant colours of India. The day-long cultural blast will cater to all ages and promises to feature interesting craft workshops for children, jugglers, face painting, interactive items with AFL players and Australian cricketers, captivating Indian traditional and Bollywood dances, live band, bazaar and the multinational cuisine.
Local Indian, Fijian, African, Chilean and Chinese artists will also perform some unique collaborative fusion items.
Celebrate India will also host a renowned folk dance troupe from India sponsored by the Govt. of India. The “Seraikella chhau dance troupe” is coming to Australia for its exclusive and only performance at Diwali@Fed Sq.
The indoor program at BMW EDGE will be a launching pad for a short film called “Lights Across the Sea”, based on
a joint arts project of two renowned Australian & Indian artists carried out in Varanasi along with yoga, meditation and some classical performances.
Every year during Diwali, Celebrate India does its bit to raise awareness and funds toward a worthwhile cause. This year, the organizers have joined hands with White Ribbon, an organization campaigning to end violence against women.
Oath ceremonies will be conducted and funds raised for this cause.
The festivities will begin at noon and culminate with a spectacular fireworks display on the Yarra at 9.30pm.
This is a free, family event and is sponsored by the OMAC, City of Melbourne, Melbourne Airport, ICCR,
Government of India, Fed Square, various corporate groups like Telstra, SBS Radio, RACV, MB Films and Air India, which will be running a special competition to win two return tickets to India.
This event is supported by community organizations such as Fiji Hindu Foundation and many Indian organizations.
Log into www.celebrateindia.org.au.