28th October 2012
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5NJ
Diwali in the Square
Another of London’s Global Cultural Community comes to Trafalgar Square to enjoy an annual celebration – bit of a dilemma here, though: yes, it’s great that all of these different cultures are using the city’s central open space to celebrate and share their event for a broader community to experience and participate in, on the other hand, you do get a more authentic experience (as much as that’s possible in a grey temperate climate like ours) of the occasion should you travel to the parts of London where these communities are strongly represented (though Southall is a bit of a trek, I grant you…). The risk being that a lot of these Trafalgar Square events start to seem the same, but with varying soundtracks.
What they do have that’s different here at the annual Diwali Festival of Light gathering is the Garba (technically, more associated with the Festival of Navratri, but this is close enough): a giant circle of movement that begins at a walking pace and gradually builds as the band increases the tempo – and this lasts for about 40 minutes.
So here are some tips if you want to join in the Garba next time you’re passing; here‘s an indoor version, which looks a lot more colourful without the winter coats… And here’s a cheeky little Diwali tune…