Woking is gearing up to host its annual Diwali lantern parade once again, in a celebration of new beginnings, good versus evil and the triumph of light over dark.
Diwali, the Festival of Light, is celebrated worldwide by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Woking residents and visitors are invited to be a part of the celebrations locally, filling the town with joy, togetherness and positivity.
The lantern parade will start at 6pm, Thursday 9 November 2023 in Gloucester Square (outside the Civic Offices) led by traditional rhythmic beats from Chenda Melam drummers.
Along the route, visitors will also enjoy dance performance re-enacting the life of Rama, the Hindu God of Protection, before parading on through the town, into the shopping centre and finishing in Victoria Square.
Neelam Devesher DL, Chairman of the Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum, said: “Diwali is an important festival for many people and it's the perfect way to bring some festive cheer into autumn and start the Christmas celebrations.
“Diwali in Woking has a feel-good factor enabling people of all races, cultures and beliefs to build community cohesion in the county with a better understanding of diverse faiths and cultures.”
Cllr Ellen Nicholson, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Living Well, added: “I’m thrilled that Woking will be hosting its annual Diwali parade again this year, bringing communities together to celebrate this special time.
“It is so lovely to witness people from all faiths come together and fill our town centre with light, happiness and colour. The event never fails to lift spirits and create a joyous atmosphere for all.
“I’d like to wish all Woking residents, a very happy and prosperous Diwali. I hope to see you at the parade, marking this occasion and making lasting memories with loved ones.”
The free event is organised by the Diwali Committee which includes representatives from The Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum, Surrey Hindu Cultural Association, Sayapatri Nepalese Group, The Art of Living, Woking Malayalee Association, Tamil Association and Surrey Area Telugu Association whilst supported by Woking Borough Council, Surrey Lieutenancy, local Surrey County Council Councillors.
Why not showcase your creativity and make a home-made lantern to bring along to the parade?