Everyone is invited to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of India during the annual Auckland Diwali Festival on October 19 and 20 in Aotea Square and Queen St.
The event goes from noon to 9pm and is the region's largest free multicultural vegetarian festival.
It is supported by Suburban Newspapers, publisher of the Central Leader, and is run by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).
Rachael Carroll, ATEED general manager of destination and marketing, says this year's event will stimulate the senses.
"We're infusing more street theatre and surprise events than ever before to inject even more spontaneity into what is already an exciting event," she says.
"This is an amazing opportunity for people of all ethnic backgrounds to embrace a traditional Indian festival which has become an iconic event for our city."
The festival will see Aotea Square and Queen St transformed into an Indian bazaar, with more than 50 food and craft stalls offering delicious vegetarian cuisine and Indian sweets, as well as a colourful array of clothing, jewellery, henna, handicrafts and art.
A live performance stage will showcase a mix of traditional and contemporary dance from local and international artists and there'll be the hotly contested Radio Tarana Bollywood dance competition.
Other festival highlights will include the Rangoli craft workshop where children can create Indian artworks, and classical music workshops for people to have a go at playing traditional Indian instruments. The event will end with a fireworks display.
Go to aucklandnz.com/diwali for more information.
- © Fairfax NZ News